• John Greene
  • JOHN GREENE's music is a reflection of his turbulent, non-conformist life and is based on early rock and roll, the pop explosion of the 60’s, the blues and many things Americana. Best described as ‘Hard Country’, it often lives in the space also occupied by the likes of Neil Young and the Grateful Dead. Sometimes veering toward Hawaiiana and country it always involves his unique viewpoint on the world he has lived in and the troubles we all share.

    Brought up in the grey 1950's in a small town in Cornwall, badly educated and repressed by Methodist parents, music provided the escape he needed. First through radio and records, Elvis, Ray Charles, Roy Orbison, The Beatles and The Beach Boys and then into local bands.

    Leaving school at 17 he was forced into clerical work but after 2 years of this tedium he left for London. It was 1968 !

    In short order he discovered the wonderful world of that time. Bands, drugs, women, The Roundhouse, Eel Pie Island, Europe, the first Glastonbury Fayre (he played on the first Pyramid Stage and dug the toilets !), Morocco, broken hearts and music, music, music.

    In 1971, on the rebound from some love affair, John arrived at the door of the Rainbow Theatre looking for work and within 2 weeks became the assistant stage manager. The place was run on the Bill Graham-inspired lines of The Fillmores and he immediately connected with the California work ethic that was in place there. It felt like coming home and he learned the backstage business fast, all the time soaking up the knowledge that proximity to great musicians can provide.

    When the venue closed he was offered more work by the production company that came from its ashes, firstly the Wings Over Europe tour, then the Grateful Dead, then Santana. The Santana crew especially befriended him and invited him to accompany them to San Francisco when the tour ended.

    Four years in the USA followed, a blur of touring with Santana, The Dead, Boz Scaggs, The New Riders of the Purple Sage, The Allman Brothers, Commander Cody, Steve Miller, The Tubes and many others. He got to see the whole country and fell in love with the West and California and Hawaii in particular, drinking in the music at every turn.

    By the late seventies he had had enough. The adventurous spirit of the previous decade had dissipated, business was the order of the day and he rebelled again, deciding to return to his roots in Cornwall. Whilst making this huge decision he found himself sitting near North Beach Marina in San Francisco one day, with a pad of paper and a pen and was surprised to realize he had written a song !

    The culture shock of the return to the U.K. was staggering. Everything was different. The weather, the people, the lack of adventure but he stayed, married (twice), had 2 children, sailed and set about applying what he had learned to the local music scene.

    Songwriting took a back seat for a long time because of the impossibility of recording. Times were hard in 1980s' Britain and just surviving was hard enough, but local band work and selling various self-taught skills kept the wolf from the door.

    By the mid 90's a combination of improved fortunes and good luck led to his recording his first album, 'Gone West', a collection of favorite songs learned on the road, recorded with an art student band who would later gain fame as Derrero.

    A second, this time mostly self-penned, CD was released in 1998. Titled 'All This' it featured some of the best of the local musicians.

    Then came the 'Home Studio' explosion and a small inheritance and suddenly songwriting had an easier outlet. 'A Different Game'(2003), 'Time To Remember'(2006),'West of the Rest'(2009) and 'Hard Country'(2014) followed.

    A collection of country standards in a 'train rhythm' style, 'It Takes a Train to Cry', was released in 2018.

    Currently John creates general home studio tutorials under the 'Home Studio Workshop' title and continues to record.

    In 2020, the album 'This is John Greene' was released. It contains 15 of his favourite recordings from the last 20 years updated for 2020. John says,"Art is never finished only abandoned".

    Hopefully there will be live music to follow soon but.........?

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