John O'Neill (guitarist)

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John Joseph O'Neill
Birth nameJohn Joseph O'Neill
Born (1957-08-26) 26 August 1957 (age 62)
Derry, Northern Ireland
GenresPunk rock, pop punk, new wave
InstrumentsRhythm guitar
Years active1976–1994, 1999–present
LabelsSire Records
Ardeck Records
Virgin Records
Associated actsThe Undertones, That Petrol Emotion

John Joseph O'Neill (born 26 August 1957) is the rhythm guitarist and principal songwriter of the punk rock/new wave band The Undertones.[1] O'Neill, along with his younger brother Vincent and friends Feargal Sharkey, Michael Bradley and Billy Doherty, founded The Undertones in 1975, although Vincent O'Neill was replaced the following year with his younger brother Damian O'Neill, who became the band's lead guitarist.

John O'Neill wrote the majority of the band's singles and a number of album tracks[2] (occasionally collaborating with his brother Damian or Michael Bradley). Undertones songs written by John O'Neill include the singles "Teenage Kicks", "Jimmy Jimmy", "Here Comes The Summer" and "You've Got My Number", and such notable album tracks as "When Saturday Comes" and "You're Welcome".

After releasing four albums and thirteen singles, The Undertones disbanded in 1983; they reformed in November 1999. Since then, the band (who have a new lead singer, fellow Derry native Paul McLoone who also serves as a radio presenter for the Irish national and independent radio station Today FM) have released two further albums and performed a number of gigs in both the UK, Ireland, Europe and North America.

In 1985 the O'Neill brothers formed That Petrol Emotion, an acclaimed rock act who disbanded in 1994.

In the 1990s he formed a trip hop group called Rare under the stage name Seán Ó'Néill with vocalist Mary Gallagher. Despite some positive reviews in the music press they only had one notable chart appearance and disbanded shortly after the release of their only album in 1998.


  1. ^ Heibutzki, Ralph. "Biography: The Undertones". AMG. Retrieved 19 May 2010.
  2. ^ "One Old 'Journal' Photograph, Two Future Stars and The Rest is History". Derry Journal. 27 January 2018. Retrieved 8 February 2018.

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