John Maher (Buzzcocks drummer)

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John Maher
Born (1960-04-21) 21 April 1960 (age 55)
Origin Manchester, England
Genres Punk rock, new wave, post-punk
Occupation(s) Musician, Photographer, Engineer
Instruments Drums
Years active 1976–1992; 2012-
Associated acts Buzzcocks, The Invisible Girls, Wah!, Flag of Convenience, The Things, Penetration

John Maher (born 21 April 1960)[1][2] is a British former musician who was part of the punk and new wave scenes in Manchester, England, most notably as the drummer with Buzzcocks.[3]

Music career[edit]

Maher's father was from Ireland.[4] 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,[3] 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![5]

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.

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.[6] The band recorded an album's worth of material in the summer of 2014, which is due for release in 2015.

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 Blamirefirst 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.

Drag racing[edit]

Since retiring from the music industry 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.


  1. ^ 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
  2. ^ 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);...
  3. ^ a b Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 352. CN 5585. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Articles about Buzzcocks
  6. ^ The Things - Manchester based band

External links[edit]