- John McCoy (musician)
Infobox musical artist
Name = John McCoy
Img_size = 150
Background = non_vocal_instrumentalist
Genre = Rock,
Hard rock, Blues-rock
Occupation = Musician/Songwriter/Producer
Years_active = 1960s - present
Associated_acts = Neo
GillanMcCoy Mammoth Guy McCoy Tormé Joey Belladonna
"John McCoy" is a British
bass guitarist who is best known for his work with Ian Gillanand "Mammoth" as well as numerous other bands and sessions since the late 1960s. He currently plays in British rock trio Guy McCoy Tormewith former Gillan/Ozzy guitarist Bernie Tormeand Bruce Dickinson/ Sack Trick drummer Robin Guy. He is also an accomplished guitar, drum, trumpet, cello, and double bassplayer. Nearly as well-known as his music is his appearance: he is always pictured wearing sunglasses, with the striking contrast of bald head and robust chin beard. Along with guitarist Vic Elmesand ZZebracolleague Liam Genockeyon drums, McCoy can also be heard playing in the intro and end titles theme of the 70s cult T.V. show Space 1999.
In the 1960s, whilst still at school, McCoy began playing as
lead guitarist with a working beatgroup, "The Drovers". In 1967 he responded to an advertisement in the Yorkshire Postnewspaper for a guitarist to join a band called "Mamas Little Children" who were about to begin touring Germany. McCoy went to audition only to find they had just given someone else the position, but still needed a bass player. He auditioned on a spare bass that was there and was given the job. In 1968 he was forced to resign from the band because he was working illegally under age. On his return to Britain he went to Londonwhere he found work as a session musician with former Driftersmember Clyde McPhattertouring the U.K.
In 1974 McCoy was playing with London-based band "Scrapyard" when they recruited Irish-born lead guitarist
Bernie Torme. Although Torme eventually left to form his own punk rockband, the two were later reunited in former Deep Purplesinger Ian Gillan's band.
Career with Gillan
In July 1978, the jazz-rock fusion
Ian Gillan Bandwere altering direction, under the influence of keyboards player Colin Townsin a return to Ian Gillan's hard rockroots. Towns had begun writing new material, and Gillan gave him the task of recruiting the new line-up. Towns recruited session drummer Liam Genockey, McCoy and guitarist Richard Brampton, who was replaced by Steve Byrd - a former colleague of McCoy's from ZZebra- almost immediately. Within a month of their formation the band had recorded their first album, Gillan, and they made their live debut at the Reading Festival on 16 August1978. They were originally listed there as the "Ian Gillan Band", but in a move away from the jazz-rock connotations they renamed the band simply "Gillan".
Gillan underwent a further three line-up changes, but McCoy remained as bass player until the band eventually split acrimoniously " [http://www.getreadytorock.com/rock_stars/john_mccoy.htm Interview:John McCoy] ", URL accessed on 24 January 2007.] in 1982.
Post-Gillan, McCoy recruited session drummer Vinnie "Tubby" Reed, guitarist "Big" Mac Baker and vocalist Nicky Moore to form a band initially called "Dinosaur". The name was already in use by a
Californian band, so McCoy renamed his new outfit "Mammoth". The name was also a tongue-in-cheekreference to the large size of the band members: McCoy weighed 120 kg, Reed 140 kg, Baker 152 kg and Moore 127 kg.
The band toured with
Whitesnakeand Marillionand were well-received by fans. They released one single, "Fatman", and two albums, "XXXL" and "Larger And Live". In 1988 the entire band appeared in the film [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0095419/ Just Ask For Diamond] , playing the henchmen. Musically, commercial success eluded them however and the band eventually split in 1989, with McCoy becoming an independent producer.
McCoy usually uses a traditional four string fretted Fender Precision guitar and predominantly Marshall amplification in various configurations. Although he has used
Trace Elliot, he has described it as "...a bit clean for my personal taste..." " [http://www.planetbass.fsnet.co.uk/johnmccoy.html Planet Bass – The John McCoy Interview January 2006] ", URL accessed on 24 January 2007.] Currently he uses a Marshall 200w integrated amp driving a 2x15 cab and a Marshall 100w lead amp driving 4x12 cabs.
His playing style utilises both pick and fingers, although he plays mostly with picks, preferring Fender extra heavy large triangles "...for greater precision and attack." " [http://www.planetbass.fsnet.co.uk/johnmccoy.html Planet Bass – The John McCoy Interview January 2006] ", URL accessed on 24 January 2007.]
List of bands and artists worked with
*Mamas Little Children
John Du Cann
*Sun Red Sun
*The Split Knee Loons
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