John Till

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For other people named John Till, see John Till (disambiguation).
John Till
Born (1945-12-24) 24 December 1945 (age 68)
Stratford, Ontario, Canada
Instruments Guitar
Associated acts Full Tilt Boogie Band, The Revols, Janis Joplin, Ronnie Hawkins, The Fab Four, The Pencils

John Till is a Canadian musician. Born in Stratford, Ontario, Till played in local bands until the early 1960s when he was picked to play in Ronnie Hawkins band The Hawks, to replace previous members who had left to tour with Bob Dylan (see The Band). After touring with Hawkins, the members of this band moved to New York City to try to establish themselves as musicians in the larger U.S. market. Till became a studio musician and was doing commercial sessions.

While doing this kind of commercial work, Till also was fortunate enough to be hired as a touring musician, working for Janis Joplin on her Full Tillt Boogie Band, as a side project with Till's fellow Canadian band members. This group had been playing mostly in the local New York Area, but when Janis Joplin's management convinced her to discard Big Brother and the Holding Company as her backing band, her record label put together a new group of musicians for her. This group, The Kozmic Blues Band, was a group of studio musicians that Joplin's label were familiar with, and could depend on to be reliable. This group recorded I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama!, which was released in 1969. Janis Joplin's Kozmik Blues Band were the group Joplin performed with at the original Woodstock concert; however, Joplin was not happy touring with some of the members of this group, feeling some of them to be too "square".

Joplin and her management then hired Till, bass player Ken Kalmusky (also from Stratford, and who affected the stage name "Ken Campbell"), as well as pianist Ken Pearson (from nearby Woodstock, Ontario), to fill out her new band, dubbed Full Tilt Boogie. The band appeared on The Dick Cavett Show, and were then booked on the Festival Express which toured across Canada. Shortly after, they went on an international tour and appeared on such television programs as The Ed Sullivan Show. The group recorded their classic Pearl album, which reached the #1 spot on the Billboard charts.

After Joplin's untimely death, and the subsequent breakup of Full Tilt Boogie, John Till played with Bobby Charles, Bob Burchill and his ensemble in the Stratford apartments.

In the forward of Love, Janis, Laura Joplin's biography of her relationship with her famous sister, Till and his Stratford born wife, Dorcas, are thanked for providing some of the material for the book.

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