John Guerin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
John Guerin
Guerin in San Francisco, 1976
Guerin in San Francisco, 1976
Background information
Birth nameJohn Payne Guerin
Born(1939-10-31)October 31, 1939
Hawaii, U.S.
DiedJanuary 5, 2004(2004-01-05) (aged 64)
West Hills, California, U.S.
Associated acts

John Payne Guerin (October 31, 1939 – January 5, 2004) was an American percussionist. He was a leading proponent of the jazz-rock style, and was one of the most prolific drummers of his time.[1]


Guerin was born in Hawaii and raised in San Diego. As a young drummer he began performing with Buddy DeFranco in 1960. In the late 1960s he moved to Los Angeles where his talented drum work was utilized by artists including Frank Sinatra, The Beach Boys, George Harrison, Frank Zappa, The Animals, Joni Mitchell, Them, Thelonious Monk, Lou Rawls, Ray Conniff, George Shearing, Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald, Linda Ronstadt, Nelson Riddle and countless others.

From July 1972 to January 1973 he was the drummer for The Byrds, and joined the L.A. Express later that year. The band served as Joni Mitchell's back-up band on tour during the mid- to late-1970s; Guerin had a brief relationship with Mitchell during that time. She later wrote the song Hejira about leaving him.

Guerin was a leading exponent of the jazz-rock style, leading it into new territory. He was extremely prolific, and played in many different genres, including for film and television.[1] Among his many contributions to motion picture and television scores, Guerin worked on the soundtrack to the 1988 film homage to Charlie Parker, Bird by Clint Eastwood. Those are also his drums on the theme song during the opening credits for the television series Hawaii Five-O.

In later years, Guerin worked with Oscar Peterson, Jon Faddis, Jimmy Heath, Ray Charles, Sonny Rollins, Justin Morell, Andreas Pettersson, David Basse, David Garfield, Gary Lemel, and Mike Melvoin.

Guerin died of heart failure on January 5, 2004 in West Hills, California.[2]

Selected discography[edit]

As sideman[edit]

With Gene Ammons

With Don Ellis

With Monk Higgins

With Joni Mitchell

With Blue Mitchell

With Cass Elliot

With Barry Mann

  • Barry Mann (Casablanca Records, 1980)

With Linda Ronstadt

With J. D. Souther

With Aaron Neville

  • The Grand Tour (A&M Records, 1993)
  • Aaron Neville's Soulful Christmas (A&M Records, 1993)

With Liza Minnelli

With Bobby McFerrin

With Oliver Nelson

With Elton John

With Michael Franks

With Sheena Easton

With Cyndi Grecco

With Natalie Cole

With Joan Baez

With Bonnie Raitt

With José Feliciano

  • Como Tú Quieres (RCA Victor, 1984)

With Howard Roberts

With Kenny Rogers

With Gram Parsons

  • GP (Reprise Records, 1973)

With George Harrison

With Stephen Bishop

With Elkie Brooks

With Sarah Vaughan

With Diane Schuur

  • Love Walked In (GRP, 1996)
  • Music Is My Life (GRP, 1999)

With Art Garfunkel

With Melanie

  • Photograph (Atlantic Records, 1976)
  • Seventh Wave (Neighbourhood Records, 1983)

With The Byrds

With Peggy Lee

With Helen Reddy

With Tom Scott

With Barbra Streisand

With Bud Shank

With Gábor Szabó

With Frank Zappa

With Seals and Crofts

  • Diamond Girl (We May Never Pass this way Again) (Warner Bros, 1973)


  1. ^ a b "John Guerin Obituary". The Daily Telegraph. 15 January 2004.
  2. ^ "John Guerin, 64, Popular Drummer". The New York Times. Associated Press. 18 January 2004.

External links[edit]