John Maher (Buzzcocks drummer)
|Born||21 April 1960|
|Genres||Punk rock, new wave, post-punk|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, Photographer, Engineer|
|Years active||1976–1992; 2012-|
|Associated acts||Buzzcocks, The Invisible Girls, Wah!, Flag of Convenience, The Things, Penetration|
Maher's father was from Ireland. In 1976, still a 16-year-old schoolboy from St. Bede's College, Whalley Range, Manchester, he joined punk band Buzzcocks, then led by Howard Devoto, who was the lead vocalist. After the first Buzzcocks dissolving in 1981, he collaborated with Pauline Murray of The Invisible Girls, and formed along with Steve Diggle (also of Buzzcocks) a band called Flag of Convenience, in 1982, but he quit shortly afterwards. In 1981, he was drumming in Wah!
Buzzcocks reunited in late 1989 for a month long tour of the USA and seven shows in the UK. While the other members of the band decided to continue, Maher left to continue with his VW business (see below). He returned once more in early 1992, when his replacement (Mike Joyce, formerly of The Smiths), quit Buzzcocks on the eve of a European and Japanese tour.
In May 2012, Maher stepped out of musical retirement to rejoin Buzzcocks for two one-off shows: his first public appearance behind a drum kit in 20 years. The concerts took place at Manchester Apollo and London's Brixton Academy. Howard Devoto, the band's original vocalist also joined the band on stage for five songs - all four tracks from their debut EP, Spiral Scratch, plus a cover version of The Troggs' "Can't Control Myself". Maher spoke about his brief return to the stage in an interview with online fanzine Mudkiss. Another interview with Maher appears in the first issue of The Drummers Journal.
In 2014 Maher reunited with another Manchester band he had previously been involved with during his Buzzcocks years: The Things. The band recorded several songs, both old and new, during the summer of 2014. An EP (entitled 'EP1') containing four tracks was released in the summer of 2015. Further releases are planned.
Early in 2015 Maher was back in the recording studio with old friends Pauline Murray and Robert Blamire, working on a new Penetration album - the first since the band's 1979 release, Coming Up For Air. Maher and Blamire first worked together in 1978, on Patrik Fitzgerald's debut album Grubby Stories. In 1980 they also worked together on the Martin Hannett produced Pauline Murray and the Invisible Girls album, already mentioned above. The new album 'Resolution' was released to critical acclaim in October 2015, taking the runner-up spot in Vive Le Rock's Top 50 albums of 2015.
In August 2015, Louder Than War (website) published an in-depth interview with Maher.
When Maher first quit the music industry in the 1980s, he developed an interest in car drag racing, racing VW Beetles as part of the VWDRC. This led him to develop a successful business building performance engines, John Maher Racing. His engines and transmissions are widely regarded as being amongst the best built in the UK combining power with reliability, a point reinforced by his racing success. The level of demand for his products has allowed Maher to relocate from Manchester to the Isle of Harris in Scotland in 2002. After reuniting with Buzzcocks in 1989, he retired from music in 1992 after a tour, and returned to his Volkswagen business in Chorlton-cum-Hardy, in the south of Manchester. In 1999, Maher's workshop was featured in the Channel 5 programme Stars & Cars. This featured footage of his former incarnation as a drummer, a tour of his workshop, and interviews. In 2010 he appeared on the BBC Alba motoring programme Air an Rathad. The interview features footage inside his workshop on the Isle of Harris, a brief interview and a drive in one of his customers' VW Beetle.
Since 2009, Maher has gained recognition for his photography; in particular his long exposure night photographs and interior images of abandoned Hebridean homes. In 2015, some of Maher's work was featured in the BBC TV programme 'Grand Tours of the Scottish Islands', where he is filmed visiting one of the abandoned houses he has photographed, driving around the island in a Vintage VW with Buzzcocks playing on the radio!
- JOHN MAHER (21 aprile 1960): batteria. "Enciclopedia della musica rock : 1970–1979", Cesare Rizzi. Giunti, 1996. ISBN 88-09-21523-0, ISBN 978-88-09-21523-8
- Frame, Pete. Pete Frame's Rockin' Around Britain: Rock'n'roll Landmarks of the UK and Ireland. Omnibus, 1999. ISBN 0-7119-6973-6, ISBN 978-0-7119-6973-5. John Maher, 21 April 1960 (Buzzcocks);...
- Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 352. CN 5585.
- Articles about Buzzcocks
- The Things - Manchester based band
- JMR – John Maher Racing John Maher Racing
- The Flying Monk Photography by John Maher
- Air an Rathad - BBC Alba John Maher TV interview 2010
- Mudkiss.com John Maher talks to Melanie Smith, 2012
- The Drummers Journal John Maher interview in Issue #1
- Louder Than War John Maher interview 2015