I was born Michael John Orton. My Uncle Floyd always wanted to call me “Mickey”… over my mother’s dead body! As a kid, my hero was baseball player, Mickey Mantle, so this must have planted the seed.
During the final days of Silver Laughter, after our New York trip, we were eager to change our image per the suggestions of that Atlantic Records A&R man we met. There were all sorts of ideas floating around. We discussed changing the name of the band, how we looked on stage, what our act would be; all sorts of stuff.
Somehow I came across a book on Numerology. Like everything else new we got into, I went headlong into trying to decipher “the meaning of life” in order to figure out what we needed to do to make it big. (Forget about hard work, lots of practice and dedication!) I thought this was the answer. The Beatles translated to a perfect number 23 ( 2+5+1+4+3+5+3) and was 7 letters long, so I thought I was on to something. Right away I started working on trying to find a new band name that was a perfect 19 and was 7 letters long and had a double meaning like BEATles did.
The book focused on the Chaldean Alphabet so in one of our last newsletters I proclaimed I was changing my name from Mike Orton to Mik York. Looking back, it was a dumb thing to do. Fortunately, people who had been reading my silly contributions to the newsletter thought it was another one of my attempts at humor. “It’s just Mike trying to be clever.”
So when the band broke up and Ken and I headed off to California, I had a clean start. It was here I decided to become Mick Orton once and for all. Though not numerological advantageous, I have used Mick as my nickname ever since.