Big John Duncan

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Big John Duncan
Big John Duncan.jpg
Background information
Birth name John Duncan
Born (1958-08-14) 14 August 1958 (age 58)
Glasgow, Scotland
Instruments Guitar
Labels Secret, Captain Oi! Records, Exploited, Capitol, Radioactive, Blokshok, Parlophone
Associated acts The Exploited, Nirvana, Goodbye Mr. Mackenzie, Square Peg, The Blood Uncles, Petrol3, Gin Goblins, Zeitgeist, Human Zoo

Big John Duncan aka John Duncan is best known as the guitarist for The Exploited during their classic lineup of 1980 – 1983.[1] He played and wrote the music for their albums Punks Not Dead and Troops Of Tomorrow and Let's Start a War. He also played and wrote many of their single releases, the most famous being "Dead Cities" which they performed on Top of the Pops in 1981.

After their American tour in 1983, Duncan quit The Exploited but didn't actually leave until early 84 as he already had some gigging and recording commitments, which he fulfilled. He then went on to play in several bands including Human Zoo, Crazy Maybe, and the Mighty Blood Uncles, and then in 1988 joined Goodbye Mr. Mackenzie (with future Garbage singer Shirley Manson). In 1992 and 1993 he worked as a backline and guitar technician for the band Nirvana and played guitar with them during their concert in Roseland Ballroom, New York City on 23 July 1993.[1][2] In the early and mid 90's he played with The Kamikazee Freak Show and the Gin Goblins. Duncan worked with many other bands during his career including Twisted Sister, the Foo Fighters and Ministry

John Duncan moved to Amsterdam, The Netherlands in September 1999, First working at construction for a year and partying like an animal, then eventually getting work at the Melkweg Nite Club first as a stage hand and crew boss, then in maintenance and construction and finally the marketing department, dealing with advertising and posters. He officially retired from the Melkweg due to ill health in August of 2016, but had not worked officially since May 2015.

John Duncan is currently living in the Baarsjes, Oude West district of Amsterdam, living with his partner and learning to play guitar again.


  1. ^ a b Strong, Martin C. (2001) The Great Metal Discography, MOJO Books, ISBN 1-84195-185-4, p. 189
  2. ^