John Lombardo

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John Lombardo
John Lombardo
John Lombardo playing guitar in 2019
Background information
Born (1952-09-30) September 30, 1952 (age 69)
Jamestown, New York, United States
OriginBuffalo, New York, United States
GenresFolk rock, alternative rock
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter, producer
Instrument(s)Guitar, bass, vocals
Years active1981–present
LabelsChristian Burial, Elektra, Rykodisc, Geffen, Bar/None

John Lombardo (born 30 September 1952) is one of the founding members of the American alternative rock band 10,000 Maniacs and one of the band's most influential members, writing much of its early material. He is also a member of folk rock duo John & Mary.[1][2][3][4]


Called by the Buffalo News "a dominant force" in the Maniacs, Lombardo was in the group from its inception in 1981 until he left in 1986 after the release of their first major-label album The Wishing Chair, disagreeing with the direction of the band and frustated with the lack of success. "I think I just really ran out of gas," Lombardo explained to The Morning Call in 1997. "It was very much a nomadic, gypsy lifestyle, even though we were on a major label (Elektra). We weren't making very much money and it just got very frustrating for me. I needed a breather to find out what my own life was about."[5][6]

Lombardo then formed the folk rock duo John & Mary with the classically trained Mary Ramsey, who played violin and viola for 10,000 Maniacs and sang backing vocals on the 1993 album MTV Unplugged. The pair made two recordings under the name John & Mary, Victory Gardens in 1991 and 1993's The Weedkiller's Daughter. Lombardo remained on cordial terms with his former band, with two Maniacs (Rob Buck and Jerry Augustyniak appearing as guest performers on their albums, and John and Mary opened for the 10,000 Maniacs on tour. Lombardo would also work with the band in 1990 to remaster Hope Chest, a compilation of their first two albums, released in 1990.[7][8]

Lombardo returned to the Maniacs in 1994 after Natalie Merchant's departure, with Ramsey joining as the lead singer.[9] The duo released two albums with the Maniacs: 1997's Love Among the Ruins, which contained a cover of the Roxy Music song "More Than This" that did well in the U.S. charts; and 1999's The Earth Pressed Flat. In 2002, after leaving the Maniacs following the death of guitarist Rob Buck, John & Mary released The Pinwheel Galaxy and then Peace Bridge (2007) under the name John & Mary and the Valkyries.[10][11]

Lombardo continues to perform regularly with John & Mary and has rejoined 10,000 Maniacs as a touring member, contributing to their 2015 album Twice Told Tales, performing on their 2016 live album Playing Favorites, and playing regular gigs with the band.[12]


With 10,000 Maniacs[edit]

With John & Mary[edit]

With John & Mary & the Valkyries[edit]


  1. ^ "A Second Start, Singer for 10,000 Maniacs". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, U.S. 1997-11-11. Retrieved 2019-06-03.
  2. ^ "Drew keeping 10,000 Maniacs fun and comfortable - The Daily Gazette". Schenectady, New York, U.S.: The Daily Gazette. 12 July 2018. Archived from the original on 2018-08-26. Retrieved 2019-06-03.
  3. ^ "Ramsey enjoys reunion with 10,000 Maniacs - The Daily Gazette". Schenectady, New York, U.S.: The Daily Gazette. 16 November 2016. Retrieved 2019-06-03.
  4. ^ France, Kim (1993-03-19). "Natalie Merchant and 10,000 Maniacs". Rolling Stone. U.S.: Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2019-06-03.
  5. ^ "John & Mary, Playing off Their Strengths".
  6. ^ "Spotlight on 10,000 Maniacs Losing Vocalist Hasn't Left Pop Band in Ruins".
  7. ^ " - 10,000 Maniacs Recordings". Archived from the original on 6 May 2001. Retrieved 20 July 2022.
  8. ^ "Rarebird's John and Mary Reviews".
  9. ^ "John & Mary, Playing off Their Strengths".
  10. ^ "After the Split, 9,999 Maniacs Go Their Separate Ways".
  11. ^ "Wednesday Night Concert with John and Mary and the Valkyries". 21 February 2008.
  12. ^ "10,000 Maniacs, 37 Years of Music". 15 August 2018.

External links[edit]