On Friday 2 December 2016, Michael Fitzsimons - better known as Micky Fitz - vocalist with UK Punk/ Oi! band THE BUSINESS passed away. The cause of death appears to be cancer of the Lymph Gland.
Born in 1959, Fitz was among the school friends who formed THE BUSINESS in Lewisham, South London in 1979. The band’s first appearance on record was via the ‘A Sudden Surge Of Sound’ compilation released in 1980 on VU Records. The classic ‘Harry May’ single followed in 1981 via Secret Records. The same label released the ‘Smash The Discos’ EP the following year and the debut album, ‘Suburban Rebels’ in 1983.
Although the band appeared to remain active ever since, releasing records on labels like Burning Heart, TKO, Taang! and Captain Oi!, there was the odd disruption. Soon after the ‘Harry May’ single, all of the original members left Micky high and dry as they went on to form Q-BOW, which morphed into SMACK. Then, following 1988’s ‘Welcome To The Real World’, the same occurred. Move on a few years and Micky reappeared in THE ELITE which performed several BUSINESS songs. From there, in one form or another, THE BUSINESS never let up. Their song ‘England 5 – Germany 1’, became a football anthem for England and appeared in the 2004 comedy movie Euro Trip. The band’s most recent release was the ‘Back In The Day’ single in 2014.
Fitz was diagnosed with cancer late in 2015 and underwent radiotherapy treatment. In January 2016, Fitz made a public update via Garry Bushell’s Facebook page. It states he had finished the ‘intense Radiology and Chemotherapy treatment’ which followed a throat operation to remove an aggressive tumour that was working its way through his neck. This was to be followed by dieticians and neck and throat specialists who were to get him eating again.
I have to confess I was never the biggest of BUSINESS fans. I never saw the band live and only have the debut album and a Complete Singles Compilation in my collection. That said, I know just how important the band has been and the sincerity with which it operated, and appreciate the vitality and energy that was in every track they recorded - and a lot of that vitality was down to those charismatic and formidable vocals of Fitz.
Fitz is survived by his partner, Kim and son, Jamie.