John McCoy (musician)

John McCoy (musician)

Infobox musical artist

Name = John McCoy
Img_size = 150
Landscape =
Background = non_vocal_instrumentalist
Birth_name =
Born =
Died =
Origin = Huddersfield, UK Flagicon|UK
Instrument = Bass Guitar
Genre = Rock, Hard rock, Blues-rock
Occupation = Musician/Songwriter/Producer
Years_active = 1960s - present
Associated_acts = Neo
McCoy Mammoth
Guy McCoy Tormé Joey Belladonna

"John McCoy" is a British bass guitarist who is best known for his work with Ian Gillan and "Mammoth" as well as numerous other bands and sessions since the late 1960s. He currently plays in British rock trio Guy McCoy Torme with former Gillan/Ozzy guitarist Bernie Torme and Bruce Dickinson/Sack Trick drummer Robin Guy. He is also an accomplished guitar, drum, trumpet, cello, and double bass player. 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 Elmes and ZZebra colleague Liam Genockey on drums, McCoy can also be heard playing in the intro and end titles theme of the 70s cult T.V. show Space 1999.

Early career

In the 1960s, whilst still at school, McCoy began playing as lead guitarist with a working beat group, "The Drovers". In 1967 he responded to an advertisement in the Yorkshire Post newspaper 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 London where he found work as a session musician with former Drifters member Clyde McPhatter touring 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 rock band, the two were later reunited in former Deep Purple singer Ian Gillan's band.

Career with Gillan

In July 1978, the jazz-rock fusion Ian Gillan Band were altering direction, under the influence of keyboards player Colin Towns in a return to Ian Gillan's hard rock roots. 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 August 1978. 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 " [ 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-cheek reference 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 Whitesnake and Marillion and 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 [ 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..." " [ 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." " [ Planet Bass – The John McCoy Interview January 2006] ", URL accessed on 24 January 2007.]

List of bands and artists worked with

*The Drovers
*Mamas Little Children
*Clyde McPhatter
*Curtiss Maldoon
*Julie Felix
*John Du Cann
*Riblja Čorba
*Francis Rossi
*Andy Bown
*Mike Hugg
*The Coolies
*Curved Air
*Atomic Rooster
*Bernie Torme
*Colin Towns
*U.K. Subs
*Sun Red Sun
*Joey Belladonna
*The Split Knee Loons


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • John Clark (musician) — Infobox Musical artist Name = John Clark Img capt = Img size = Landscape = Background = Birth name = John Trevor Clark Alias = Born = birth date and age|1944|9|21 Brooklyn, New York, USA Died = Origin = Rochester, New York Instrument = French… …   Wikipedia

  • John Gilmore (musician) — This article is about John Gilmore, the jazz saxophonist. See John Gilmore for other people with this name. Infobox musical artist Name = John Gilmore Img capt = Img size = Landscape = Background = non vocal instrumentalist Birth name = John… …   Wikipedia

  • John McCoy — may refer to:*John McCoy (musician), British bass guitarist *John B. McCoy, CEO BANC ONE CORPORATION *John Calvin McCoy, Founder of Kansas City, Missouri *John McCoy (Irish politician) (born 1940), Irish Progressive Democrats politician 1987 1989 …   Wikipedia

  • McCoy Tyner — in 1973 Background information Birth name Alfred McCoy Tyner Born December 11, 1938 …   Wikipedia

  • John Coltrane — Coltrane redirects here. For other uses, see Coltrane (disambiguation). John Coltrane Background information Birth name …   Wikipedia

  • Charlie McCoy — For other people of the same name, see Charles McCoy (disambiguation). Charlie McCoy Background information Birth name Charles Ray McCoy Born …   Wikipedia

  • Back Alley John — Infobox Musical artist Name = Back Alley John Img capt = Img size = Landscape = Background = solo singer Birth name = John Carl David Wilson Alias = Born = birth date|1955|2|10 Died = Death date and age|2006|6|22|1955|02|10 Origin = Ottawa,… …   Wikipedia

  • Dimensions (McCoy Tyner album) — Dimensions Studio album by McCoy Tyner Released 1984 Recorded October 1983 …   Wikipedia

  • Crescent (John Coltrane album) — Crescent …   Wikipedia

  • Coltrane, John — ▪ American musician in full  John William Coltrane,  byname  Trane  born Sept. 23, 1926, Hamlet, N.C., U.S. died July 17, 1967, Huntington, N.Y.  American jazz saxophonist, bandleader, and composer, an iconic figure of 20th century jazz.… …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.