Drums: John

John in studio

Early Days

John has been drumming and singing since he was seven years old, bashing out his rhythms on his mother's pots and pans with his first set of drum sticks whilst pestering his dad to buy him a drum kit. Born in Adelaide, South Australia, he is one of three brothers and seven sisters. He started making noise just to be heard so drumming seemed to be the natural thing to play as all the other instruments had already gone. After he had been playing for a couple of years, though still only just being able to reach his bass drum and hi-hat pedals, he and his brothers formed a covers band based on all the bands he had been listening to at the time, i.e the Rolling Stones, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Who, Marvin Gaye with some soul and Motown influences thrown in there, all together a mixed bag of sounds.

The '70s

At a young age John gained his gigging experience cutting his teeth in and around the Adelaide working men’s clubs. Eager for success he entered the band into a kids TV talent contest and consequently came out as winners. The band continued to appear on Saturday morning kids TV until the series ended In 1973. The family moved back to England following the success of his sisters' group.

John continued his early gig experience on the London pub and club circuit in the late 1970’s. Performing all original material with his brothers they were now joined by Keith Rogers on bass guitar. Captain Webb was formed, playing at places like the Rock Garden, the Golden Lion and the Nashville in Fulham with other struggling bands at the time i.e. The Police, U2, Dire Straits, etc. and sometimes supportting famous ones like Georgie Fame.

The '80s

By early 1980 Captain Webb was no more and Rio And The Robots were formed. With Rio Roberts fronting the band as lead singer and playing an original brand of electro-pop dance numbers. once again they tackled the college and pub circuit with the likes of the Thompson Twins, The Higsons, Any Trouble to name but a few, all trying to earn a crust.

During the early eighties the band had some success releasing singles and an album on their own label (Recorded In New York). Additionally they made appearances on american cable channels and british TV shows: Friday Night Saturday Morning, Nationwide News and a feature in the acclaimed Steve Sattler documentary film "Listen To London" in 1981.

But with a music industry that promises so much but delivers you nothing the band folded in 1986 going their separate ways. Being disillusioned with the music industry John gave up playing drums and decided to make a living outside of music.

Back To The Drum Kit

19 years later in 2005 he started playing drums again. After a few months of practice he put himself out there again playing a few pub gigs in and around London and the south east area with different bands that needed a drummer / percussionist or vocalist.

In 2006 John was given the opportunity to play congas in the percussion section of an acclaimed steel band orchestra called the BT Melodeons playing gigs such as the Royal Albert Hall, Stamford Bridge and various festivals and charity events all over London. This was a great experience to play different types of music (e.g. calypso, soca, reggae) and get to know a great bunch of people led by band leader Terry Knowles and ultimately create a brilliant and hypnotic rhythm section.

In 2010, still playing percussion and practising at the M5 studio John’s involvement in Hardtail came about through a chance introduction and meeting with Dave (guitar) and Jon (bass) as the band were in need of a drummer / backing vocalist. John was keen to gain whatever experience he could so jumped at the opportunity to play for this talented rock band.

When a band breaks up and reforms it takes a while to get its best line-up. With Steve now on board as vocalist and the band creating a solid and punchy sound, Hardtail are back. The band debuted in January 2011 to great acclaim. The guys look forward to enjoying their music and having a bright future.