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 shop’s 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, Rod Hull, Renée and Renato, Bob Monkhouse, Frank Carson, Freddie Starr, Jim Davidson, Danny La Rue, Jimmy Cricket, Peters & Lee, Bernard Manning, Bradley Walsh, Roy Castle, The Tiller Girls, The Dallas Boys 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 [Night], Jimmy Barnes, Barbara Dickson, The Drifters, Robert Hart, James Belushi, The Three Degrees, Boney M., Viola Wills, The Nolans, The Platters, Chris Farlowe, Vivian Stanshall, The Chippendales and 1970s multi-hit maker Tony Burrows (Edison Lighthouse, The Brotherhood of Man).
John also toured with The Peter Green Splinter Group, ‘Whitesnake’s’ Moody Marsden Band and was a member of Manfred Mann’s Earth Band from 1996-2000. Upon leaving MMEB, John joined the re-formed Prog Rock band Greenslade. The line-up consisted of founding members Dave Greenslade (composer / keyboards), Tony Reeves (bass), Trotter (drums) and ex-Asia keyboard player / vocalist John Young.
John has worked for a range of producers such as Laurie Latham, Philip Pope, 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.
Over the years John has recorded numerous Film Soundtracks and TV Themes including Spitting Image, Not the Nine 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, Game On, Two Thousand Acres of Sky, Man ‘o’ Man, Auntie’s Bloomers, Noel’s House Party and the multi-award-winning ‘Fast Show’ (AKA ‘Brilliant’ – USA).
He has also recorded a long list of jingles for companies such as McDonald’s, KFC, Pepsi, Esso, British Telecom, Martini, Nescafe, McVitie’s, Cadbury’s, 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 book / CD ‘The Bass Bible’.
In 2002 John relocated to Australia and has performed with artists such as Michelle Shocked, Joe Camilleri, Lucy Durack, Lucky Oceans & Friends, Blanche DuBois, The Zydecats, Matt Taylor, Rachel Claudio, Troy Roberts, The Paperdolls, Ryan Webb, Gerard Maunick, Mia Milan, Rose Parker, Rachael Beck & Todd McKenney, Alfredo Malabello, Chelsea Basham, Eugene ‘Hideaway’ Bridges’ and Ash Grunwald. He has also contributed to over 150 albums / EP’s with producers Rob Agostini, Anthony Cormican, Roy Martinez and Luke Steele (Empire of the Sun).
John became an Australian Citizen in 2007. He continues to develop his private drum school and has written three educational books, titled The Working Drummer (2013), Beats & Pieces (2014) and the award-winning Junior Drummer’s Bible (2018). John also teaches at Peter Moyes, St Stephen’s, Irene McCormack & Prendiville Colleges (WA) and is a ‘Drum Specialist’ Examiner for the AMEB Rockschool programme.
In 2019, John and UK keyboard player / composer Stuart Collingwood released the Jazz / Funk album ‘Beep Bap Bop’.