John Mayall

John Mayall was born on November 29, 1933, in a small village

John Mayall
outside of Manchester, England. His early musical inclinations were encouraged by his father, a guitarist and jazz fan who exposed his son to a wide variety of music. Mayall began playing guitar by the age of twelve and by fourteen, he'd learned to play the piano and had already developed a love for the blues.

After serving with the British army for three years, Mayall entered the Manchester College of Art, and it was there that he formed his first professional band, The Powerhouse Four. Upon his graduation in 1959, heworked as a typographer and in a graphic design studio. He was nearly thirty by the time he moved to London to form the Bluesbreakers in 1963. Backing him were guitarist Bernie Watson, drummer Keith Robertson, and a seventeen year old bassist, John McVie. While performing on the London club scene, the Bluesbreakers were noticed by Mike Vernon, who signed them with Decca recording studios.

John Mayall was a "gifted bandleader who demanded total dedication to his music...(he) developed an uncanny judgment about

John Mayall & Peter Green
the potential of the musicians he drew into his band." The Bluesbreaker endured countless incarnations, yet these changes themselves did not seem to faze Mayall in the least: "Invariably, after time you'll find that some players aren't on the same wavelength anymore...or perhaps they wanted to use my band as a stepping stone for their own music and career. For me, it was business as usual...as long as they gave me a few weeks notice to scout around for a replacement, that was fine with me." John Mayall "entered the 1970's widely acknowledged as the father of British blues. Apart from having discovered- in Eric Clapton, Peter Green, and Mick Taylor- three of the most acclaimed guitarists of the rock era, his 'blues school' fostered the talents of a roster of artists who have since profoundly influenced the course of Rock n' Roll."

In 2000, John Mayall toured the UK and United States with Peter Green & The Splinter Group. This year he released a new album entitled Along For the Ride which contains a song entitled "Yo Yo Man" written by Tony Joe White and features Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, and Peter Green. John Mayall also plays on "If You Know You Don't Love Me, Why In The World Don't You Leave Me" on the new Dick Heckstall-Smith album, Blues And Beyond.


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