Born in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England 1966, John began playing the drums aged 11. He studied with Barry Black at Ronnie Pearson’s ‘Drum Shop’ and made his first recordings in the shops basement studio aged 14. He became a full-time professional on leaving school at 16 with The Don Smith Band at Newcastle’s Mayfair Ballroom. In these early days whilst playing cabaret clubs, summer seasons, cruise ships and corporate shows, John accompanied a long list of ‘variety acts’ including Cannon & Ball, Bobby Davro,
Marti Caine, The Nolans, Renée and Renato, Bob Monkhouse, Frank Carson, Freddie Starr, Jim Davidson, Danny La Rue, Jimmy Cricket, Peters & Lee, Roy Castle, The Tiller Girls and Rolf Harris.
John moved to London in the mid -1980s, playing initially with the house band at the London Empire and then The Andy Ross Orchestra. He became a respected member of the ‘session community’ covering all aspects of the music industry, accompanying artists such as Robbie Williams, Hot Chocolate, Cliff Richard, The Corrs, Georgie Fame, Ruby Turner, Colin Blunstone, Chris Thompson & Stevie Lange, Barbara Dickson, The Drifters, Robert Hart, James Belushi, Tony Burrows, The Three Degrees, Boney M, Chris Farlowe, Vivian Stanshall, The Chippendales and Jimmy Barnes. He also toured with The Peter Green Splinter Group, Whitesnake’s ‘Moody Marsden’, prog rock legends Greenslade and was a member of Manfred Mann’s Earth Band from 1996-2000.
John has worked for a range of producers such as Laurie Latham, Richard Niles, Matthew Fisher, Jeff Bova, Trevor Brown, Nigel Lythgoe, Simon Webb, Don Airey, Julian Littman, Tony Ashton, Spike Edney, Andy Fairweather Low, Raph Ravenscroft, Paul ‘Wix’ Wickens, Colin Keyes, Kennedy Aitchison and legendary Rolling Stones producer Jimmy Miller. However, his main ‘employer’ for 12 years was Philip Pope the UK's most prolific composer of countless Film Soundtracks and TV Themes including Spitting Image, Not The 9 o’clock News, Gimme Gimme Gimme, Jane Horrocks, Harry Enfield, My Hero, KYTV (The Hee Bee Gee Bees),
Kevin & Perry Go Large, The Dame Edna Show, Hale & Pace, The Lenny Henry Show, TFI Friday and the multi-award winning
'Fast Show' (AKA Brilliant-USA).
John has also recorded numerous jingles for companies such as McDonalds, KFC, Pepsi, Esso, British Telecom, Martini, Nescafe, Cadburys, Andersen Consulting, Sharp Electronics, Mars, Kellogg’s, Gillette, Heineken, Vauxhall/Holden Cars, The Liberal Democrats (UK), Oxford University Press & Fuji (MR BEAN SERIES).
Other ventures include a range of educational projects such as demonstrations at the British Music Fair, workshops at the Musicians Institute London, drum teacher at Don Airey’s Rock School and accompanying Paul Westwood on his highly acclaimed Bass Bible.
In 2002 John relocated to Australia and is loving life down under. He is busier than ever performing with artists such as Michelle Shocked, Joe Camilleri, Lucy Durack, John Meyer, Eugene ‘Hideaway’ Bridges, Lucky Oceans & Friends, Claire Clarke, Blanche DuBois, The Zydecats, Matt Taylor, Rachel Claudio, Rachael Beck & Todd McKenney, Troy Roberts, The Paperdolls, Ryan Webb, Ben Witt, Mia Milan, Rose Parker, Alfredo Malabello, Chelsea Basham and Ash Grunwald. He has also contributed to over 100 albums / EP’s with producers Rob Agostini, Anthony Cormican, Roy Martinez and Luke Steele (Empire Of The Sun). John continues to develop his Drum School, became an Australian Citizen in 2007 and has written two educational books The Working Drummer and Beats & Pieces, both published by the German company AMA Verlag.
“The move to Australia has been a fantastic experience, the quality of life is awesome and I’m honoured to be working with such gifted songwriters, musicians and producers!”
There are many great drummers that have inspired me throughout my career, Ringo Starr on The Beatles cartoon show lit the fuse, followed by Hal Blaine, Harvey Mason, Steve Gadd, my teacher Barry Black and Graham Jarvis, but it’s no secret that Jeff Porcaro, John Robinson and
Carlos Vega have been my main inspiration since 1980.
These days I love listening to Stanton Moore and Keith Carlock who along with JR, Steve Gadd and Vinnie Colaiuta for me set the standard and get better and better.