John Coghlan (drummer)

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John Coghlan
John Coghlan 2013.png
John Coghlan in 2013, performing with Status Quo in Manchester
Background information
Birth name John Robert Coghlan
Born (1946-09-19) 19 September 1946 (age 67)
Dulwich, London, England
Origin London, England
Genres Hard rock, rock and roll, blues rock, boogie rock, psychedelic rock
Occupations Musician
Instruments drums
Years active 1962-present
Associated acts Status Quo, John Coghlan's Diesel, John Coghlan's Quo

John Robert Coghlan (19 September 1946, Dulwich, London, England)[1] is a British musician, best known as the drummer of the English rock band, Status Quo during the 1970s.

The son of a Glasgow-born father and a London born half-French mother, Coghlan grew up in Dulwich, and was educated at Kingsdale Comprehensive school until leaving school at 15 to begin an apprenticeship as a mechanic.


Coghlan in the 1970s. Photo by Pmc.

John Coghlan joined Status Quo, then called The Spectres, in the early 1962 after a meeting with bassist Alan Lancaster & guitarist Francis Rossi. Drumming for the first 14 of 30 albums Status Quo went on to record, including their first and most successful live album, called "Live!" in 1977, his drumming can be heard on Quo songs such as "Caroline", "Down Down", "Rockin' All Over the World" and "Whatever You Want".


Whilst Quo were recording their, what went on to be their "1+9+8+2" album, Coghlan unexpectedly left the band after almost twenty years of being in the line up. How this came about, as told by both Francis Rossi & Rick Parfitt in interviews when asked about the subject over the years, Coghlan reportedly went in to the studio, sat behind his drum kit to do a take, "tapped around" on it, "then he got up, kicked the whole kit apart walked out & that was that".,[2] Coghlan was replaced by Pete Kircher, formerly of the 1960s band Honeybus, to finish the album. After his departure Coghlan played with Partners In Crime - the band failed to create major attention. He also played on a one-off single by The Rockers, a supergroup also comprising Roy Wood, Phil Lynott and Chas Hodges; "We Are The Boys (Who Make All The Noise)", a rock and roll medley, which was released in November 1983 and made No. 79 in the charts. His own band, 'John Coghlan's Diesel', was a loose ensemble which consisted of a number of musicians he'd known in his years with Status Quo, most notably Bob Young and Andy Bown. Diesel never signed a proper recording contract.

Recent Times[edit]

Coghlan still continues to play in his own solo bands mostly known as John Coghlan's Quo, and also with members from other bands, including members from well known Quo tribute acts, including Baz Barry, Mick Hughes and Peter Knight from Predatur.[3] He also plays in the John Coghlan Band, or JCB, which comprises the members of the 12 bar boogie rock band and the King Earl Boogie Band (with former members of Mungo Jerry).

Status Quo Reunion[edit]

In 2012 John, along with band mates Rick Parfitt, Francis Rossi and Alan Lancaster, reunited for a special one off jam session at Shepperton Studios in Surrey, London, for the bands first ever cinematic documentary "Hello Quo!", directed by Alan G. Parker. It was the first time the classic lineup had all been in the same room and played together since Coghlan's leaving in 1981.

In October 2012, the same month as Hello Quo! was released, it was announced that the classic lineup of Status Quo were having a one-off reunion tour across the UK planned for March 2013, noted for being their first and only tour together in 32 years. Tickets went on sale in November and sold out in under twenty minutes, consisting of a total of nine shows, the first being at Manchester Apollo, two back to back dates at Hammersimth Apollo, and the final gig of the tour at Wembley Arena, London, on the 17th of March 2013 - set to be released as a Blu-ray / DVD / CD on the 30th of September 2013. With this - received as one of the must see tours of 2013 - there has since been talks with the band for another reunion tour in 2014. [4] [5]

Personal life[edit]

John Coghlan has one daughter, Charlotte, from his marriage to first wife Carol. He now lives in Oxfordshire with Gillie, his second wife of more than 30 years. Gillie worked in the music business, including for the agents at MAM, NEMS and Bron, who represented bands such as Hall and Oates, Black Sabbath, Nils Lofgren, Hot Chocolate, Barclay James Harvest and Ace. Gillie has competed in, and won, many TV quiz shows over the years, including The Weakest Link. John and Gillie featured in an episode of Cash in the Attic which looked at much of his music memorabilia.

John has a love for 4-wheel drives and military vehicles (especially vintage), and the band participated in an off-roading video whilst he was with them. He is also the patron of the 'Westie ReHoming' charity.[6]


Throughout his career John had used Yamaha drums, Avedis Zildjian and Paiste cymbals, Vater Session drumsticks, Vic Firth drumsticks and Remo drum heads.

John also has his original Ludwig Super Classic Oyster Pearl kit which he used from the moment he joined the band up until the mid 70s. Coghlan recently had this kit restored with 22" bass drum, 14" tom and 16" floor including Cymbals such as a 21" rock ride cymbal, 18" crash medium, 16" crash medium, 14" new beat hi hats, 8" inch splash, 6" inch splash and a 1960s speed king bass drum pedal.


  1. ^ "John Coghlan". AllMusic. 1946-09-19. Retrieved 2011-10-10. 
  2. ^ "John Coghlan's Quo". Retrieved 2011-10-10. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Classic Quo are back". Retrieved 30 July 2012. 
  5. ^ "Hello Quo". Retrieved 30 July 2012. 
  6. ^ "John and Gillie Coghlan, patrons". Archived from the original on 2011-07-25. Retrieved 30 July 2012. 

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