Mike Pinder (born Michael Thomas Pinder, 27 December, 1941 to Bert and Gladys Pinder in Birmingham, England) established himself as an important rock musician in his work with the Moody Blues during the height of their success. However, his greatest contributions to music may have been technological.
As a young adult Pinder played in El Riot and the Rebels, a rock band that achieved some regional success. Bandmates in El Riot included future Moody Blues members Ray Thomas and John Lodge. Later, Pinder and Thomas played together in a band called the Krew Cats or Crew Cats; the band wound up in Germany playing at some of the cellars where The Beatles had polished their musicianship; however the Krew Cats' fortunes were not so bright--Pinder and Thomas, completely broke, wound up walking across northern Europe to get back home to England.
Around this time, Pinder wound up employed by Streetly Electronics, a firm that manufactured the mellotron. The mellotron was a keyboard instrument that produced sound when each key pressed a magnetic tape head onto a short strip of magnetic tape. The tapes could be recorded with any desired sound, so a mellotron could...