John Mayall performing in 2004
29 November 1933 |
|Genres||Blues rock, harmonica blues, British blues, electric blues, rhythm and blues|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, songwriter, producer|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, harmonica, keyboards, piano, synthesizers, organ, drums|
|Labels||Decca, DJM, ABC, Eagle, Snapper, One-Way Records, Polydor, Silvertone, GNP Crescendo|
|Associated acts||John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, Canned Heat, Cream, Fleetwood Mac, Keef Hartley Band, Mark-Almond, Pure Food and Drug Act|
John Mayall, OBE (born 29 November 1933) is an English blues singer, guitarist, organist and songwriter, whose musical career spans over fifty years. In the 1960s, he was the founder of John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, a band which has counted among its members some of the most famous blues and blues rock musicians. They include Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Jack Bruce, John McVie, Mick Fleetwood, Mick Taylor, Don "Sugarcane" Harris, Harvey Mandel, Larry Taylor, Aynsley Dunbar, Hughie Flint, Jon Hiseman, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Andy Fraser, Johnny Almond, Walter Trout, Coco Montoya and Buddy Whittington.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Early years
- 2.1 Mid-1960s through 1971
- 2.2 1970s
- 2.3 Return of the Bluesbreakers
- 2.4 Early 2000s
- 2.5 Forty Below Records Period
- 3 Discography
- 4 John Mayall's sidemen
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Born in Macclesfield, Cheshire in 1933, Mayall's father Murray Mayall, was a guitarist and jazz music enthusiast. From an early age, John was drawn to the sounds of American blues players such as Lead Belly, Albert Ammons, Pinetop Smith and Eddie Lang, and taught himself to play the piano, guitars, and harmonica.
Mayall spent three years in Korea for national service and, during a period of leave, he bought his first electric guitar. Back in England, he enrolled at Manchester College of Art (now part of Manchester Metropolitan University) and started playing with semi-professional bands. After graduation, he obtained a job as an art designer but continued to play with local musicians. In 1963, he opted for a full-time musical career and moved to London. His previous craft would be put to good use in the designing of covers for many of his coming albums.
Since the end of the 1960s Mayall has lived in the US. A brush fire destroyed his house in Laurel Canyon in 1979, seriously damaging his musical collections and archives.
Mayall has been married twice, and has six grandchildren. His second wife, Maggie Mayall is an American blues performer, and since the early 1980s took part in the management of her husband's career. The pair divorced in 2011 and Maggie wrote online about the experience.
In 1956, with college fellow Peter Ward, Mayall had founded the Powerhouse Four which consisted of both men and other local musicians with whom they played at local dances. In 1962 Mayall became a member of the Blues Syndicate. The band was formed by trumpeter John Rowlands and alto saxophonist Jack Massarik, who had seen the Alexis Korner band at a Manchester club and wanted to try a similar blend of jazz and blues. It also included rhythm guitarist Ray Cummings and drummer Hughie Flint, whom Mayall already knew. In 1962 John and his band were frequent and popular artists at all night R&B sessions at the 'Twisted Wheel' cellar club in central Manchester. Alexis Korner persuaded Mayall to opt for a full-time musical career and move to London, where Korner introduced him to many other musicians and helped them to find gigs. In late 1963, with his band which was now called the Bluesbreakers, Mayall started playing at the Marquee Club. The line-up was Mayall, Ward, John McVie on bass and guitarist Bernie Watson, formerly of Cyril Davies and the R&B All-Stars. The next spring Mayall obtained his first recording date with producer Ian Samwell. The band, with Martin Hart at the drums, recorded two tracks : "Crawling Up a Hill" as well as "Mr. James." Shortly after, Hughie Flint replaced Hart and Roger Dean took the guitar from Bernie Watson. This line-up backed John Lee Hooker on his British tour in 1964.
Mayall was offered a recording contract by Decca and, on 7 December 1964, a live performance of the band was recorded at the Klooks Kleek. A later studio-recorded single, "Crocodile Walk", was released along with the album, but both failed to achieve any success and the contract was terminated.
Mid-1960s through 1971
Eric Clapton as guitarist, 1965–66
In 1965, with Eric Clapton as their new guitar player, the Bluesbreakers began attracting considerable attention. That summer the band cut a couple tracks for a single, "I'm Your Witchdoctor" b/w "Telephone Blues" (released in October). In August, however, Clapton left for a jaunt to Greece with a bunch of relative musical amateurs calling themselves the 'Glands'. John Weider, John Slaughter, and Geoff Krivit attempted to fill in as Bluesbreaker guitarist but, finally, Peter Green took charge. John McVie was dismissed, and during the next few months Jack Bruce, from the Graham Bond Organisation, played bass.
In November 1965 Clapton returned, and Green departed as Mayall had guaranteed Clapton his spot back in the Bluesbreakers whenever he tired of the Glands. McVie was allowed back, and Bruce left to join Manfred Mann, but not before a live date by the Mayall-Clapton-Bruce-Flint line-up was recorded on Mayall's two-track tape recorder at London's Flamingo Club in November. The rough recording provided tracks that later appeared on the 1969 compilation Looking Back and the 1977 Primal Solos. The same line-up also entered the studio to record a planned single, "On Top of the World", which was not released at that time. Mayall and Clapton cut a couple of tracks without the others (although some sources give this as occurring back in the summer): "Lonely Years" b/w "Bernard Jenkins" was released as a single the next August on producer Mike Vernon's Purdah Records label (both tracks appeared again two decades later in Clapton's Crossroads box set). In a November 1965 session, blues pianist-singer Champion Jack Dupree (originally from New Orleans but in the 1960s living in Europe) got Mayall and Clapton to play on a few tracks.
In April 1966 the Bluesbreakers returned to Decca Studios to record a second LP with producer Vernon. The sessions, with horn arrangements for some tracks (John Almond on baritone sax, Alan Skidmore on tenor sax, and Dennis Healey on trumpet), lasted just three days. Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton was released in the UK on 22 July 1966. Several of the 12 tracks were covers of pure Chicago blues (side 1 kicking off strong with Otis Rush's "All Your Love" and Freddy King's hit instrumental "Hide Away" [here spelled without a space as "Hideaway"]); Mayall wrote or arranged 5 (such as "Double Crossing Time", a slow blues with a scorching solo by co-writer Clapton); and Eric debuted as lead vocalist, and began his practice of paying tribute to Robert Johnson, with "Ramblin' on My Mind". The album was Mayall's commercial breakthrough, rising to No. 6 on the British chart, and has since gained classic status, largely for the audacious aggressiveness and molten fluidity of Clapton's guitar playing. "It's Eric Clapton who steals the limelight," reports music mag Beat Instrumental, adding with unintended understatement, "and no doubt several copies of the album will be sold on the strength of his name."
In the meantime, on 11 June the formation of Cream—Clapton, bassist Jack Bruce, and drummer Ginger Baker—had been revealed in the music press, much to the embarrassment of Clapton, who had not said anything about this to Mayall. (After a May Bluesbreakers gig at which Baker had sat in, he and Clapton had first discussed forming their own band, and surreptitious rehearsal jams with Bruce soon commenced.) Eric's last scheduled gig with the Bluesbreakers was 17 July in Bexley, south-east of London; Cream made a warmup club debut 29 July in Manchester and its "official" live debut two days later at the Sixth National Jazz and Blues Festival, Windsor.
Peter Green as guitarist, 1966–67
Mayall had to replace Clapton, and he succeeded in persuading Peter Green to come back. During the following year, with Green on guitar and various other sidemen, some 40 tracks were recorded. The album A Hard Road was released in February 1967. Today its expanded versions include most of this material, and the album itself also stands as a classic. Early 1967 Mayall released an EP recorded with American bluesharpist Paul Butterfield.
But Peter Green gave notice and soon started his own project, Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac, which eventually was to include all three of Mayall's Bluesbreakers at this time: Green, McVie, and drummer Mick Fleetwood who was a Bluesbreaker for only a few weeks. Two live albums, "Live in 1967" Volumes I and II, featuring this lineup were released on Forty Below Records in 2015 and 2016.
Mick Taylor as guitarist, 1967–69
Mayall's first choice to replace Green was 18-year-old David O'List, guitarist from the Attack. O'List declined, however, and went on to form the Nice with organist Keith Emerson. Through both a "musicians wanted" ad in Melody Maker on 10 June and his own search, Mayall found three other potential guitarists for his Bluesbreakers, a black musician named Terry Edmonds, John Moorshead, and 18-year-old Mick Taylor. The latter made the band quickly, but Mayall also decided to hire Edmonds as a rhythm guitarist for a few days.
In the meantime, on a single day in May 1967, Mayall had assembled a studio album to showcase his own abilities. Former Artwoods drummer Keef Hartley appeared on only half of the tracks, and everything else was played by Mayall. The album was released in November titled The Blues Alone.
A six-piece line-up—consisting of Mayall, Mick Taylor as lead guitarist, John McVie still on bass, Hughie Flint or Hartley on drums, and Rip Kant and Chris Mercer on saxophones—recorded the album Crusade on 11 and 12 July 1967. These Bluesbreakers spent most of the year touring abroad, and Mayall taped the shows on a portable recorder. At the end of the tour, he had over sixty hours of tapes, which he edited into an album in two volumes: Diary of a Band, Vols. 1 & 2, released in February 1968. Meanwhile, a few line-up changes had occurred: McVie had departed and was replaced by Paul Williams, who himself soon quit to join Alan Price and was replaced by Keith Tillman; Dick Heckstall-Smith had taken the sax spot.
Following a US tour, there were more line-up changes, starting with the troublesome bass position. First Mayall replaced bassist Tillman with 15-year-old Andy Fraser. Within six weeks, though, Fraser left to join Free and was replaced by Tony Reeves, previously a member of the New Jazz Orchestra. Hartley was required to leave, and he was replaced by New Jazz Orchestra drummer Jon Hiseman (who had also played with the Graham Bond Organisation). Henry Lowther, who played violin and cornet, joined in February 1968. Two months later the Bluesbreakers recorded Bare Wires, co-produced by Mayall and Mike Vernon, which came up to No. 6.
Hiseman, Reeves, and Heckstall-Smith then moved on to form Colosseum. The Mayall line-up retained Mick Taylor and added drummer Colin Allen (formerly of Zoot Money's Big Roll Band / Dantalian's Chariot, and Georgie Fame) and a young bassist named Stephen Thompson. In August 1968 the new quartet recorded Blues from Laurel Canyon.
On 13 June 1969, after nearly two years with Mayall, Taylor left and joined the Rolling Stones.
Mark-Almond period, 1969–70
Chas Crane filled in briefly on guitar. Drummer Allen departed to join Stone the Crows. This left as the only holdover bassist Thompson who would also eventually join Stone the Crows.
Mayall tried a new format with lower volume, acoustic instruments, and no drummer. He recruited acoustic fingerstyle guitarist Jon Mark and flautist-saxophonist John Almond. Mark was best known as Marianne Faithfull's accompanist for three years and for having been a member of the band Sweet Thursday (which included pianist Nicky Hopkins and future Cat Stevens collaborator Alun Davies, also a guitarist). Almond had played with Zoot Money and Alan Price and was no stranger to Mayall's music—he had played baritone sax on 4 cuts of Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton and some of A Hard Road. This new band was markedly different from previous Mayall projects, and its making is well documented both on the 1999 double CD The Masters and on the 2004 DVD The Godfather of British Blues/The Turning Point.
Along with the big change in sound, Mayall decided on a big change in scenery: a move to Los Angeles. The new band made its US debut at the Newport Jazz Festival on 5 July, whilst the performance of 12 July at the Fillmore East provided the tracks for the live album The Turning Point. A studio album, Empty Rooms, was recorded with the same personnel, with Mayall's next bassist, former Canned Heat member Larry Taylor, playing bass in a duet with Thompson on "To a Princess."
Harvey Mandel as guitarist, 1970–71
Mayall continued the experiment of formations without drummers on two more albums, although he took on a new electric blues-rock-R&B band in guitarist Harvey Mandel and bassist Larry Taylor, both plucked from Canned Heat, and wailing violinist Don "Sugarcane" Harris, lately of the Johnny Otis Show. On USA Union (recorded in Los Angeles, 27–28 July 1970), though, Mandel was compelled to make do without his remarkable sustain and usage of feedback as musical, even melodic, technique; and on Memories the band was stripped down to a trio with Taylor and Ventures guitarist Gerry McGee.
In November 1970 Mayall launched a recording project involving many of the most notable musicians with whom he had played during the previous several years. The double album Back to the Roots features Clapton, Mick Taylor, Gerry McGee and Harvey Mandel on guitar; Sugarcane Harris on violin; Almond on woodwinds; Thompson and Larry Taylor on bass; and Hartley on drums. Paul Lagos was with Sugarcane and ended up drumming on five. Mayall wrote all the songs and sang all the vocals, as usual by now, plus played harmonica, guitar, keyboards, drums, and percussion. The London sessions took place in January 1971 and as such represent some of Clapton's last work before Derek and the Dominos' attempted Layla follow-up sessions and band disintegration that spring.
Back to the Roots did not promote new names, and USA Union and Memories had been recorded with American musicians. Mayall had exhausted his catalytic role on the British blues-rock scene and was living in L.A. Yet, the list of musicians who benefited from association with him, starting with ruling the London blues scene, remains impressive.
By the start of the 1970s Mayall had relocated in the USA where he spent most of the next 15 years, recording with local musicians for various labels. In August 1971, Mayall produced a jazz-oriented session for bluesman Albert King and a few months later took on tour the musicians present in the studio.
A live album Jazz Blues Fusion was released in the following year, with Mayall on harmonica, guitar and piano, Blue Mitchell on trumpet, Clifford Solomon and Ernie Watts on saxophones, Larry Taylor on bass, Ron Selico on drums and Freddy Robinson on guitar. A few personnel changes are noted at the release of a similar album in 1973, the live Moving On. During the next decade Mayall continued shifting musicians and switching labels and released a score of albums. Tom Wilson, Don Nix and Allen Toussaint occasionally served as producers. At this stage of his career most of Mayall's music was rather different from electric blues played by rock musicians, incorporating jazz, funk or pop elements and even adding female vocals. A notable exception is The Last of the British Blues (1978), a live album excused apparently by its title for the brief return to this type of music.
Return of the Bluesbreakers
In 1984 Mayall restored the name Bluesbreakers for a line-up comprising the two lead guitars of Walter Trout and Coco Montoya, bassist Bobby Haynes and drummer Joe Yuele. The mythic name did, perhaps, something to enhance the interest in a band which by all standards was already remarkable.
A successful world tour and live recordings achieved the rest. In the early 1990s most of the excitement was already spent and Buddy Whittington became the sole lead guitarist in a formation which included then organist Tom Canning.
On the occasion of the 40th year of his career Mayall received carte blanche to invite fellow musicians for the recording of a celebratory album. Along for the Ride appeared in 2001, credited to John Mayall and Friends with twenty names listed on the cover, including some Bluesbreakers, old and new, and also Gary Moore, Jonny Lang, Steve Cropper, Steve Miller, Otis Rush, Billy Gibbons, Chris Rea, Jeff Healey, Shannon Curfman and a few others.
To celebrate his 70th birthday Mayall reunited with special guests Eric Clapton, Mick Taylor and Chris Barber during a fundraiser show. This "Unite for Unicef" concert took place on 19 July 2003 at the Kings Dock Arena in Liverpool and was captured on film for a DVD release. In 2005, Mayall was appointed an OBE in the Honours List.
In November 2008, Mayall announced on his website he was disbanding the Bluesbreakers, to cut back on his heavy workload and give himself freedom to work with other musicians. Three months later a solo world tour was announced, with: Rocky Athas on guitar, Greg Rzab on bass, and Jay Davenport on drums. Tom Canning, on organ, joined the band for the tour which started in March 2009. An album was released in September 2009. Since then, Mayall has continued to tour with the same backing band, minus Canning, who left due to other priorities.
Forty Below Records Period
In 2013, Mayall signed with producer Eric Corne’s label, Forty Below Records. The two have produced 3 studio albums together, “A Special Life” featuring accordionist CJ Chenier, “Find A Way To Care” and “Talk About That” featuring Joe Walsh. Corne also re-mastered some live recordings from 1967 featuring Peter Green, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood released as “Live in 1967” Volumes I and II. In 2016, Mayall was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.
Original John Mayall albums
- 1965: John Mayall Plays John Mayall (Decca) [live, December 1964]
- 1966: Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton (Decca) UK No. 6
- 1967: A Hard Road (Decca) UK No. 10 (with Peter Green)
- 1967: John Mayall's Bluesbreakers with Paul Butterfield (Decca) EP April 1967
- 1967: The Blues Alone (Ace of Clubs) UK No. 24
- 1967: Crusade (Decca) UK No. 8 (with Mick Taylor)
- 1968: The Diary of A Band – Vol One (Decca) [live club recordings 1967] UK No. 27
- 1968: The Diary of A Band – Vol Two (Decca) [live club recordings 1967] UK No. 28
- 1968: Bare Wires (Decca) UK No. 3
- 1968: Blues from Laurel Canyon (Decca) UK No. 33
- 1969: Looking Back(Decca) compilation [1964–1968]
- 1969: The Turning Point (Polydor) [live] UK No. 11
- 1970: Empty Rooms (Polydor) [July–October 1969] UK No. 9
- 1970: USA Union (Polydor) UK No. 50
- 1970: The World of John Mayall, Vol. 1 (Decca) UK compilation
- 1971: Back to the Roots (Polydor, 2LP) UK No. 31
- 1971: Memories (Polydor) UK
- 1971: The World of John Mayall, Vol. 2 (Decca) UK compilation
- 1971: Thru the Years (Decca) UK compilation [1964–1968]
- 1972: Down The Line (London, 2LP) compilation [1964–1968] second album in this set was the first official release of John Mayall Plays John Mayall in the USA
- 1972: Jazz Blues Fusion (Polydor) [live, US, November–December 1971]
- 1973: Moving On (Polydor) [studio + live, US, July 1972]
- 1973: Ten Years Are Gone (Polydor, 2LP; then 2CD reissue in 2008) [studio + live, New York, 1972]
- 1974: The Latest Edition (Polydor)
- 1975: New Year, New Band, New Company (Blue Thumb/ABC – One Way)
- 1976: Notice To Appear (ABC – One Way)
- 1976: A Banquet In Blues (ABC – One Way)
- 1977: Lots of People (ABC – One Way) [live, Los Angeles, November 1976]
- 1977: A Hard Core Package (ABC – One Way)
- 1977: Primal Solos (Decca) [live, UK, 1965 and 1968]
- 1978: The Last of The British Blues (ABC – One Way) [live, US]
- 1979: Bottom Line (DJM)
- 1979: No More Interviews (DJM)
- 1980: Road Show Blues (DJM), reissues:
- 1982: Roadshow Blues Band (Accord, US)
- 1993: Gold (Gold, Netherlands)
- 1995: Why Worry (Success)
- 1997: [Blues Breaker]
- 1998: The Adventures of John Mayall
- 2000: Lost And Gone
- 2001: Reaching For The Blues
- 2006: Godfather of The Blues
- 2007: A Big Man (Pulsar)
- 2013: Big Man Blues (Music Avenue)
- 1985: Return of The Bluesbreakers (AIM [Australia]) [1981 and 1982]
- 1985: Behind The Iron Curtain (GNP Crescendo) [live, Hungary], reissue:
- 1988: Live In Concert (Polskie Nagrania Muza)
- 2004: Steppin' Out
- 1988: Chicago Line (Entente – Island), reissues:
- 1994: Uncle John's Nickel Guitar (Dog 'N' Roll)
- 1999: Blues Power (Recall, with live bonus CD: Life In The Jungle – Charly Blues Masterworks, Vol.4 [that was originally released in 1996])
- 2000: Blue For You (Dressed To Kill)
- 2000: Blues Breaker (Neon, with two live bonus tracks)
- 1988: The Power of The Blues (Entente) [live, Germany, 1987], reissues:
- 1992: British Blues (Editions Atlas)
- 1993: New Bluesbreakers (The Blues Collection #008) (Orbis)
- 2003: Blues Forever (Fuel)
- 1988: Archives To Eighties (Polydor) [<-1971]
- 1990: A Sense of Place (Island)
- 1992: Cross Country Blues (One Way) [1981 and 1984]
- 1993: Wake Up Call (Silvertone) UK No. 61
- 1994: The 1982 Reunion Concert (One Way) [live, US]
- 1995: Spinning Coin (Silvertone)
- 1997: Blues For The Lost Days (Silvertone)
- 1999: Padlock On The Blues (Purple Pyramid/Cleopatra; then Eagle in 2002) -with John Lee Hooker
- 1999: Rock The Blues Tonight (Indigo, 2CD) [live, Canada, 1970 and 1971]
- 1999: Live at The Marquee 1969 (Spitfire; then Eagle in 2002) [live, London]
- 1999: The Masters (Spitfire, 2CD; then Eagle in 2002) [live, UK, 1969]
- 1999: Live: 1969 (Eagle, 2CD), reissue:
- 2004: The Turning Point Soundtrack
- 2000: Reaching For The Blues '79–'81 (Purple Pyramid/Cleopatra)
- 2001: Along For The Ride (Eagle/Red Ink)
- 2002: Stories (Eagle/Red Ink)
- 2003: Rolling With The Blues: John Mayall Live...The Second Decade 1972-1982 (Secret-Shakedown, 2CD + interview DVD; then Recall in 2005) [live, Germany, 1972–1973, USA, 1980–1982, and Italy, 1982], reissue:
- 2006: The Private Collection (Snapper, 2CD)
- 2003: 70th Birthday Concert (Eagle, 2CD) [live, Liverpool]
- 2005: Road Dogs (Eagle)
- 2007: Live at The BBC (Decca) [1965–1967, and 1975]
- 2007: In The Palace of The King (Eagle)
- 2007: Live from Austin, Tx (New West) 
- 2008: Dreaming About The Blues (Blues Boulevard, 2CD) -note: reissues of both Chicago Line and The Power of The Blues
- 2009: Tough (Eagle)
- 2011: In The Shadow of Legends (Blues Boulevard) [live, New Jersey, 1982] -note: same material as Blues Alive/Jammin' With The Blues Greats DVD
- 2014: A Special Life (Forty Below) -note: producer Eric Corne's label
- 2015: Blues Alive NYC 1976 (Rockbeat) [live, October 1976]
- 2015: Live In 1967 (Forty Below, London clubs)
- 2015: Find A Way To Care (Forty Below)
- 2016: Live In 1967, Volume 2 (Forty Below, London clubs)
- 2017: Talk About That (Forty Below, recorded Fall 2016)
- 1982: Blues Alive VHS (re-released on DVD as Jammin' With The Blues Greats in 2004), a concert filmed in June 1982 at New Jersey's Capitol Theater with a lineup of Mayall, Mick Taylor, John McVie, and Colin Allen, with guests Albert King, Etta James, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, and Sippie Wallace
- 2003: 70th Birthday Concert CD + DVD (Eagle) live 2003
- 2004: The Godfather of British Blues/The Turning Point DVD (Eagle) documentary
- 2004: Live at Iowa State University DVD (Quantum Leap/Umbrella) live 1987
- 2004: Live From The Bottom Line, New York DVD (Quantum Leap/Umbrella) live 1990
- 2006: Room To Move: John Mayall In Concert DVD (All Stars) live 1987 -note: same material (9 songs) as Live at Iowa State University, but adds 6 more from the same show
- 2006: Bits And Pieces About...John Mayall DVD + bonus CD (Laserlight/Delta)
- 2007: Live From Austin, TX DVD (New West) live 1993 on Austin City Limits
- 2011: Live In Germany 1988 DVD (Immortal)
- 2012: Sweet Little Angel: Paris 1970 DVD (IMV/Blueline) live 1970, with guest Duster Bennett
- 2012: The Lost Broadcasts DVD (AIS/Gonzo) live 1969, and 1979
John Mayall's website only
- "Private Stash" limited releases
- 2000: Time Capsule (from Mayall's private archive, 19 tracks 1957–62)
- 2001: UK Tour 2K (live)
- 2001: Boogie Woogie Man (11 live "solo" concert performances, 2000)
- 2003: No Days Off (live)
- 2004: Cookin' Down Under (DVD)
- 2011: Live In London (1 November 2010, 2CD and DVD)
- 2012: Historic Live Shows, Vol. 1 (6 tracks 1970–71, Germany + 4 tracks 1990, Japan and Germany)
- 2012: Historic Live Shows, Vol. 2 (12 tracks 1990–95, USA and Germany)
- 2012: Historic Live Shows, Vol. 3 (4 tracks 1997, USA + 6 tracks 1998, Holland)
Unofficial editions and bootlegs
- 1990: Crocodile Walk (bootleg, reissued as Bulldogs For Sale in 1996)
- 1984: Blues Alive (RCA/Columbia, reissued as Back To The Roots, Gaha in 2002)
- 198?: Dal vivo a Milano (bootleg) [live 26 November 1982]
- 199?: Beano's Boys (bootleg)
- 199?: The First 5 Years (Pontiac) [Crocodile Walk + BBC sessions + unreleased live tracks]
- 199?: Simply Outstanding: Live at The Fillmore West '68 (Vintage Masters VMCDR-107) [same as Wolfgang's Vault]
- 1999: Horny Blues (Massive Attack) [live 1972]
- 1999: Mayallapolis Blues (Blues Tune BT09) [live in Minneapolis, 3 March 1993]
- 2001: Archive: Live (Rialto)
- May 1964: "Crawling Up A Hill" / "Mr. James" (Decca F-11900)
- Apr 1965: "Crocodile Walk" / "Blues City Shakedown" (Decca F-12120)
- Oct 1965: "I'm Your Witchdoctor" / "Telephone Blues" (Immediate IM-012)
- Aug 1966: "Lonely Years" / "Bernard Jenkins" (Purdah 45-3502)
- Sep 1966: "Key To Love" / "Parchman Farm" (Decca F-12490)
- Oct 1966: "Looking Back" / "So Many Roads" (Decca F-12506)
- Jan 1967: "Sitting In The Rain" / "Out Of Reach" (Decca F-12545)
- ??? 1967: "Curly" / "Rubber Duck" (Decca F-12588) [note: this is just The Bluesbreakers band, no Mayall on these recordings]
- Apr 1967: John Mayall's Bluesbreakers With Paul Butterfield (Decca DFE-R8673) [this is a 7" EP release; the four titles are "All My Life", "Ridin' On The L & N", "Little By Little", and "Eagle Eye"]
- Jun 1967: "Double Trouble" / "It Hurts Me Too" (Decca F-12621)
- Aug 1967: "I'm Your Witchdoctor" / "Telephone Blues" (Immediate IM-051) [reissue]
- Oct 1967: "Suspicions, Pt. 1" / "Suspicions, Pt. 2" (Decca F-12684)
- Feb 1968: "Jenny" / "Picture On The Wall" (Decca F-12732)
- Jun 1968: "No Reply" / "She's Too Young" (Decca F-12792)
- Nov 1968: "The Bear" / "2401" (Decca F-12846)
- Nov 1966: "Key To Love" / "Parchman Farm" (London 45-20016)
- Apr 1967: "All Your Love" / "Hideaway" (London 45-20024)
- Sep 1967: "I'm Your Witchdoctor" / "Telephone Blues" (Immediate ZS7-502)
- Jan 1968: "Suspicions" / "Oh, Pretty Woman" (London 45-20035)
- Apr 1968: "Jenny" / Picture On The Wall" (London 45-20037)
- Jun 1968: "Broken Wings" / "Sonny Boy Blow" (London 45-20039)
- Nov 1968: "Walking On Sunset" / "Living Alone" (London 45-20042)
- Aug 1969: "Don't Waste My Time" / "Don't Pick A Flower" (Polydor PD-14004)
- Nov 1969: "Room To Move" / "Saw Mill Gulch Road" (Polydor PD-14010)
- Dec 1970: "Nature's Disappearing" / "My Pretty Girl" (Polydor PD-14051)
- Mar 1972: "Play The Harp" / "Nobody Cares" (Polydor PD-14117)
- Oct 1972: "Moving On" / "Keep Our Country Green" (Polydor PD-14151)
- Jun 1974: "Gasoline Blues" / "Brand New Band" (Polydor PD-14243)
- Aug 1974: "Let Me Give" (mono) / "Let Me Give" (stereo) (Polydor PD-14253)
John Mayall's sidemen
A comprehensive list of musicians who have recorded and/or toured with John Mayall; a few notable names:
- Guitar: Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Mick Taylor, Bernie Watson, Roger Dean, John Weider, Geoff Krivit, Jon Mark, Harvey Mandel, Gerry McGee, Jimmy McCulloch, Freddy Robinson, Randy Resnick, Hi Tide Harris, Rick Vito, Gary Rowles, James Quill Smith, Don McMinn, Bobby Manuel, Kal David, Coco Montoya, Walter Trout, Buddy Whittington, Sonny Landreth, Eric Steckel, Robben Ford, Rocky Athas
- Bass: John McVie, Jack Bruce, Paul Williams, Keith Tillman, Andy Fraser, Tony Reeves, Steven Thompson, Larry Taylor, Victor Gaskin, Bobby Haynes, Rick Cortes, Hank Van Sickle, Greg Rzab
- Drums: Hughie Flint, Mick Fleetwood, Aynsley Dunbar, Keef Hartley, Jon Hiseman, Colin Allen, Paul Lagos, Ron Selico, Soko Richardson, Joe Yuele, Jay Davenport
- Harmonica/Vocals: Paul Butterfield
- Flute/Saxophone: Dick Heckstall-Smith, John Almond
- Electric Violin: Don "Sugarcane" Harris
- Piano/Keyboards: Ronnie Barron, Dr. John
- Organ/Keyboards: Tom Canning
- Accordion/Vocals: C. J. Chenier
- "Mods, Rockers, and the Music of the British Invasion – James E. Perone". Books.google.co.uk. 9 February 1964. p. 123. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
- "Pride of Manchester's guide to John Mayall". Retrieved 15 June 2013.
- Biography  at the Official John Mayall site. As of 2009 there is no privileged source for biographical data on John Mayall. The book John Mayall: blues breaker by Richard Newman, Sanctuary Publishing, Ltd. (1996); ISBN 978-1-86074-129-6 is an 'unauthorised' biography disavowed by Mayall himself. Many of his songs have lyrics directly referring to events in his life.
- "Maggie Mayall: No Limit Blues", interview by Michael Limnios, Blues.Gr, 19 May 2012
- The Divorce Diaries by Maggie Mayall, 7 December 2011
- Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 134. CN 5585.
- A chronicle of the main events in Mayall's early career is to be found in Blues-rock explosion, eds. Stravick, S. and Roos, J., (2001) Old Goat, ISBN 0-9701332-7-8
- During Clapton's stay with the Bluesbreakers, the (in)famous graffito "Clapton is God" appeared on a wall in the London Underground.
- Marc Roberty, The Eric Clapton Scrapbook, 1994, New York: Citadel Press, p.14
- Roberty, pp. 12–14
- Hjort, Christopher (2007). Strange Brew: Eric Clapton & the British Blues Boom, 1965–1970. London, UK: Jawbone Press. pp. g. 29. ISBN 978-1-906002-00-8.
- Hjort, Christopher (2007). Strange Brew: Eric Clapton & the British Blues Boom, 1965–1970. London, UK: Jawbone Press. pp. g. 30. ISBN 978-1-906002-00-8.
- Beat Instrumental, September 1966
- Hjort, Christopher (2007). Strange Brew: Eric Clapton & the British Blues Boom, 1965–1970. London, UK: Jawbone Press. pp. g. 57. ISBN 978-1-906002-00-8.
- Hjort, Christopher (2007). Strange Brew : Eric Clapton and The British Blues Boom 1965–1970. London: Jawbone. p. 352. ISBN 978-1-906002-00-8.
- Pete Frame, The Complete Rock Family Trees, Omnibus Press 1993. ISBN 978-0-7119-0465-1
- The result was shelved, but ultimately it was released in 1986 as The Lost Session. Mayall had played in 1968 at the Winterland and The Fillmore in San Francisco, sharing triple bills with Albert King and Jimi Hendrix (concert available from Wolfgang's Vault).
- A recording of the show at The Bottom Line in New York, 10 July 1977 is available from Wolfgang's Vault
- "Biography". John Mayall. Retrieved 30 December 2011.
- "Singles from Oct. 1965 to Sept. 1966". Eric-clapton.co.uk. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
- "The single is only titled "The Bluesbreakers", and it was the only one ever issued by the band without their leader". Discogs.com. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
- "Artists: J". 45-rpm.org.uk. 10 February 1910. Retrieved 30 December 2011.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to John Mayall.|
- John Mayall's website
- Mayall: sessions,concerts
- Concerts in Wolfgang's Vault: Fillmore West '68; Bottom Line '77
- ABC Records Press Release
- John Mayall Interview 2007 – by Brian D. Holland
- John Mayall Interview with Jarrod Dicker (2009)
- John Mayall on IMDb
- Works by or about John Mayall in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- (in French) John Mayall Interview (2010) published in the French magazine Guitar Part
- John Mayall Interview for the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Oral History Program July 3, 2015
- "John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers Fillmore Auditorium San Francisco, CA Feb 9, 1968". Wolfgangsvault.com. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
-  Archived 6 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine.