Johnny Cowboy






Early days:

Studied Graphic Design at Middlesex University.

Film librarian for the British Film Institute.

Tree Surgeon.

Professional illustrator.


Formed the legendary BAZOOKA JOE.

Band members included Adam Ant. First Sex Pistols gig was as support to Bazooka Joe.

Formed THE VIBRATORS. Extensive recording and touring.

Released 2 solo singles, BABIES IN JARS and HIT MAN. Tracks now available on MICROGROOVE vinyl EP.

Played guitar in Jean-Jacques Burnel’s Euroband for UK tour.

Formed RAPID EYE MOVEMENT featuring HOT GOSSIP dancers and electronics. Supported Jean-Jacques Burnel’s Euroband on UK tour.

Joined PETER GABRIEL band  for “China” tour and played on Gabriel’s 4th solo album.

Stood in for Hugh Cornwell for 2 shows by THE STRANGLERS at the Rainbow Theatre. Album from gig released.

Worked with German duo ISLO MOB on album and single.

Started working with PETER HAMMILL eventually doing many tours and recording on 7 albums.

Rejoined THE VIBRATORS for more recording and touring.

The Vibrators.jpg

Recorded 2 albums under the name of PURPLE HELMETS with Jean-Jacques Burnel and Dave Greenfield of THE STRANGLERS.

Played additional guitar on THE STRANGLERS tour.

Joined THE STRANGLERS as full time member. Extensive touring and recording over 10 years.

Press officer for M11 Link Road campaign.

Started recording series of electronic instrumental albums as soundtracks for Art exhibitions. Released by Voiceprint.

Worked on JUDGE SMITH’S “CURLYS AIRSHIP” project over 5 year period.

Left THE STRANGLERS to work in Internet business.

Experimental projects with American accordionist MICHAEL WARD-BERGEMAN.

FG B:W label







Guitarist on “Jimi Hendrix Welsh National Anthem” hoax. Massive coverage.

Occasional session work and soundtrack composition.

Started teaching guitar.

More sessions for JUDGE SMITH.

Started doing live solo work using looping technology and laptop.

Created CHANOYU RECORDS to release solo work.

Worked in Europe doing live soundtrack improvisation, Masterclasses etc.

Formed DREAM DETECTIVES with German artist MOI. MOSER to create multi-media projects and performances.

John delivers monthly Blues Guitar workshops on behalf of The Indytute.

John hosts a regular ‘World Music’ radio show every Saturday at 2.00pm UK time on

Currently developing a major multi-media guitar tuition project.

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Hi John – I trust you will remember me from all those years ago when we did Pure Mania. I’m really eager to get my new Rock ‘n’ Roll song Katie Katie out there but the BBC are so so blinkered even though Strictly Come Dancing have shown a bit of interest. Here’s the YouTube link below which is rather uncanny. When I finished revording the song I tried to get a local couple to jive and make a video but could find no one up to it. I found this video by world champions Riccardo and Yulia and contacted them asking if I could overdub the sound as it fits perfectly without edits or tempo changes. They asked for a private viewing which I set up and they just love it and agreed to me posting it.

The Head of Music and producers at BBC Radio 2 I believe are just frightened to play it as I have no track record.

Any ideas for getting out there very welcome.

Best wishes


Hi Robin, how nice to hear from you. As you will have seen from my own experiences it’s bloody tough out there. Do you have lots of material like that? Perhaps you should do an album and get out gigging on the Rock ‘n’ Roll circuit. That will give you a chance to sell CDs. My own approach is to do lots of social media. Post the video to Facebook and Twitter if you have permission. Also, check out young Rock ‘n’ Roll bands both here and Stateside. Some of them might be looking for songs. You might approach publishers and TV production companies, too. Sorry I can’t be more helpful. Nice song! Take care, John.


Hi John
I am the editor of the Ghost Club Journal. I believe from my Stranglers knowledge you have an interest in the supernatural/spirituality. I have recently spoken to some old band associates of yours on the matter and I just wondered if you would also like to contribute any thoughts/experiences in any shape or form that you may have for a piece I am writing? I hope that is OK. Is so please would you like to contact me at my email address.
Kind regards


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