John Shanks

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This article is about the musician. For the US Representative from Indiana, see John P. C. Shanks.
John Shanks
Birth name John Matthew Shanks
Born (1964-12-18) December 18, 1964 (age 51)
New York City, New York, United States
Origin Los Angeles, California, United States
Occupation(s) Guitarist, songwriter, record producer

John Matthew Shanks (born December 18, 1964) is an American writer of modern rock music and producer.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Born in New York City, Shanks moved to Los Angeles when he was 17 years old.[2]


Shanks began playing in Melissa Etheridge's band in 1988 and toured with her for several years.[citation needed] Shanks enjoyed his first writing success in the early 1990s with tracks by Bonnie Raitt, Joe Cocker and Tuck & Patti. He also landed his first publishing deal.[citation needed]

Shanks reunited with Etheridge in 1995 when he collaborated with her on songs for Your Little Secret.[citation needed] He worked with her for several years and co-produced her subsequent album, Breakdown, in 1999.[citation needed] Breakdown received four Grammy nominations, including Best Rock Song and Best Rock Album.[citation needed]

In 2001, Shanks produced several tracks for the Stevie Nicks album, Trouble in Shangri-La and co-wrote the first single, "Every Day", with Damon Johnson.[citation needed]

In January 2001, Shanks began working with Michelle Branch.[citation needed] Together, they wrote four songs for the hit album The Spirit Room, including the first single, "Everywhere".[citation needed] He also produced the album.[citation needed] In the fall of the same year, Shanks co-wrote Sheryl Crow’s single, "Steve McQueen".[citation needed]

Shanks started working with Take That in 2005, on their comeback album Beautiful World, and he also produced their next album The Circus in 2008.[citation needed]

Shanks has also produced or written for other projects with Carlos Santana, Celine Dion, Sting, The Corrs, Chris Isaak, Hilary Duff, Keith Urban and Alanis Morissette.[citation needed] He produced Ashlee Simpson's hit 2004 album Autobiography and is credited with co-writing ten of the album's 12 songs with Simpson.[citation needed] On seven of those, Kara DioGuardi is also credited.[citation needed] That same year, Shanks produced three songs for Kelly Clarkson's hit album Breakaway, including the title track "Breakaway", and worked with Anastacia on two songs for her self-titled album, including the single "Welcome To My Truth".[citation needed]

Shanks won the Grammy Award for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical in 2005 for his work on Autobiography, the Kelly Clarkson song "Breakaway", Hilary Duff's "Fly", Robbie Robertson's "Shine Your Light" and Alanis Morissette's album So-Called Chaos.[3] Clive Davis described Shanks as “the father of that guitar-driven kind of pop sound”, as his work with Branch, Clarkson, Duff and Simpson employed many acoustic guitars in contrast to the synthesizer-heavy sound of the pop music of the period.[4]

In 2005, Shanks regrouped with Ashlee Simpson, producing her second album, I Am Me, and co-writing all of its eleven songs with Simpson and DioGuardi.[citation needed] Shanks also worked on two major albums of 2005, the Backstreet Boys' Never Gone and Bon Jovi's Have a Nice Day.[citation needed]

In January 2011, Shanks stated that he began work with legendary rock band Van Halen on its first album with original lead singer David Lee Roth since the landmark LP 1984 (1984).[citation needed] Released in February 2012, Van Halen's A Different Kind of Truth debuted at #2 in the United States, and in the Top 10 on five continents.[citation needed]

In 2014, he produced Anthony Jasmin's EP Stick Together and also helped working on Take That's album, III.[citation needed]

In 2016, Shanks became the touring rhythm guitarist for Bon Jovi. [5]


  1. ^ "More Mr. Nice Guy". Billboard. May 21, 2005. p. 24. 
  2. ^ "John Shanks Interview". SongwriterUniverse. Retrieved 2013-08-22. 
  3. ^ "GRAMMYS 2005 : Nominees". Retrieved 2013-08-22. 
  4. ^ "Interview: John Shanks Discusses Producing Van Halen's New Album, 'A Different Kind Of Truth'". Guitar World. 2013-08-14. Retrieved 2013-08-22. 
  5. ^ "Bon Jovi return gloriously with most honest album yet".,uk. Retrieved 2016-10-21. 

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