Prakash John

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Prakash John
Born (1947-08-01) 1 August 1947 (age 74)
Mumbai, India
OriginToronto, Canada
Genres
InstrumentsBass guitar
Years active1968–present

Prakash John is a Canadian rock and rhythm & blues bassist.[1] He is known as one of the originators of the 'Toronto sound'.

Early years[edit]

John was born in Mumbai, India in 1947. At age four, he was enrolled at the prestigious Protestant Cathedral and John Connon School, where he learned to play the piano and violin, and was exposed to Western and classical music, particularly that of J.S. Bach, W. A. Mozart, and Charles Wesley. In 1960, he and his family moved to Toronto, where he discovered WUFO 1080, an AM radio station out of Buffalo, New York and, for the first time, heard African music and Rhythm and blues. Inspired by Chuck Rainey, Motown legend James Jamerson, and Sly and the Family Stone bassist Larry Graham, John taught himself to play bass guitar.[2]

Career[edit]

Bush, Funkadelic, Parliament, 1969-1971[edit]

In 1965, John went to a Wilson Pickett concert and was inspired to become a professional musician--not so much by Pickett's performance, but by that of the opening act, The Rogues (aka The Five Rogues). At his school, he formed his first R&B group, The Trikq, which served as the rhythm section for another band, George Olliver & The Soul Children. He became good enough that, in 1970, he was scouted, and asked to audition, for a band called Mandala--which was the new name of, incredibly, The Rogues. Mandala was about to break up, but some of its members formed a new band, Bush, which consisted of guitarist Domenic Troiano, singer Roy Kenner, keyboardist Hugh Sullivan, John, and the Finnish-Canadian drummer Pentti Glan (aka 'Whitey'). It was Glan who would have the most influence on John, who said "He was a tremendous drummer and had tremendous sense of groove and an unusual grasp of funk for that time, the New Orleans funk. Because I liked his style of playing and I shaped mine to suit that, it was like magic when we played." Bush moved to Los Angeles, recorded the album Bush,[3][4][5] toured with Steppenwolf, and played with, among others, John Mayall and Three Dog Night.[6][7] Bush then broke up--Troiano and Kenner left to join James Gang and Glan went to work on the solo album of Steppenwolf frontman John Kay.[8]

While in Los Angeles, John also taught guitar, to Nick St. Nicholas, Kenny Gradney, (Delaney & Bonnie, Rosemary Butler and members of (Steppenwolf), Little Feat) and (Birtha).[9]

Also at that time, John was asked to play on the recording of Van Morrison's album Moondance.[10] He was invited, by Bobby Whitlock, to join Derek & the Dominos, and he was asked by Rick Derringer and Edgar Winter, to join (White Trash), with Winter asking three times. He declined these offers (to his regret). Instead, he spent some time as a counselor at a camp for handicapped children, where his mother was a teacher.[11]

When he was with George Olliver & The Soul Children, the band was in London, Ontario, where John's playing caught the attention of George Clinton, who was there with his band Parliament. Parliament's bass player couldn't get over the border and Clinton asked John to step in. At the end of the summer of 1971, Clinton brought him to Detroit, where they recorded America Eats Its Young, by Clinton's band Funkadelic. Clinton would have John back in 1974, to record the Parliament album Chocolate City.[12]

Lou Reed, Alice Cooper, 1972-1983[edit]

In 1973, Glan called and asked if he'd like a ten-day job recording an album with Lou Reed. They recorded the album Sally Can't Dance, and spent the next four years touring and recording with Reed. Through Reed, John met the men who would become two of his other musical heroes, Steve Hunter and Dick Wagner, whom he credits for the quality of Reed's live albums, Rock 'n' Roll Animal and Lou Reed Live--he would play on both of their 1978 albums.[13][14][15]

In 1975, Glan and John were asked to work (along with Hunter and Wagner) on an album that Alice Cooper was recording in Toronto. That album became Cooper's legendary Welcome to My Nightmare. They went on tour in support of it, and Glan and John would spend the next six years with Cooper, touring and recording his albums Lace and Whiskey and DaDa.[16][circular reference][17][circular reference]

The Lincolns, 1979-present[edit]

In 1979, John founded his second R&B band, The Lincolns, which plays versions of R&B classics and some original tunes, mainly in clubs across Canada. In 1981, they released the album Take One; they released their second album, Funky Funky Funky in 1996. In the 1980s, the band opened for Robert Palmer, and was chosen to play at Wayne Gretzky's 1988 wedding.[18] At a 2002 Toronto concert, Prince joined them on stage.[19] In 2016, they toured Europe with a Tina Turner tribute show.[20] As of 2021, John's son Jordan leads the band, which is considered one of North America's premiere R&B bands.[21][22]

Solo career[edit]

As a solo artist, John has played and/or recorded with James Brown, Rory Block, Paul Shaffer, Pinetop Perkins, Jr. Wells, Mike Bloomfield, Brenda Russell, Dr. John, American Flyer (band), Paul Dean and Murray McLauchlan, among others.

Film and television[edit]

In 1998, John appeared in the film Blues Brothers 2000 (and played on the soundtrack). In 2016, he was one of the stars of Sunnyvale Shoals, a 19-episode TV series about the roots of Soul and R&B.[23] Also in 2016, he appeared on the September 5th Trailer Park Boys podcast Park After Dark.[24]

Personal life[edit]

John lives with his wife in the Toronto suburb of Mississauga; they have two sons. In 2019, he was given a stone on the Mississauga Music Walk of Fame.[25]

Discography[edit]

With Lou Reed[edit]

With Alice Cooper[edit]

With George Clinton[edit]

With The Lincolns[edit]

Other[edit]

Compilations[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • John, Prakash. Autobiography written 2008.
  • Slater, Joshua A. Interviews with John family members including Jordan P. John, Prakash John, Edwina Trick. Conducted 2000 - 2007, 2008.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "JAMMIN' WITH PRINCE IN YORKVILLE". James Adams Globe and Mail Jul. 13, 2002
  2. ^ "A conversation with Prakash John". troianomusic.com. Domenic Troiano. Retrieved 7 December 2021.
  3. ^ "Bush (Side 1) – Rare 1970 US Pressing". youtube.com. YouTube. Retrieved 7 December 2021.
  4. ^ "Bush (Side 2) – Rare 1970 US Pressing". youtube.com. YouTube. Retrieved 7 December 2021.
  5. ^ "Bush - Customer Comments & Reviews". amazon.ca. Amazon. Retrieved 7 December 2021.
  6. ^ "Three Dog Night, The American Dream, Bush. July 1970". concertarchives.org. Concert Archives. Retrieved 7 December 2021.
  7. ^ "Steppenwolf / John Mayall / Bush, Oct 1970". concertarchives.org. Concert Archives. Retrieved 7 December 2021.
  8. ^ "‘The epitome of the Toronto sound’" Archived 2019-04-15 at the Wayback Machine. Mar 13, 2012 by Graham Rockingham Hamilton Spectator.
  9. ^ Stewart, John. "R&B giant Prakash John not your typical rock star, Sept 2019". mississauga.com. Mississauga News. Retrieved 7 December 2021.
  10. ^ Stewart, John. "R&B giant Prakash John not your typical rock star, Sept 2019". mississauga.com. Mississauga News. Retrieved 7 December 2021.
  11. ^ "A conversation with Prakash John". troianomusic.com. Domenic Troiano. Retrieved 7 December 2021.
  12. ^ "A conversation with Prakash John". troianomusic.com. Domenic Troiano. Retrieved 7 December 2021.
  13. ^ "A conversation with Prakash John". troianomusic.com. Domenic Troiano. Retrieved 7 December 2021.
  14. ^ "Lou Reed - Sweet Jane - live in Paris, 1974". youtube.com. YouTube. Retrieved 8 December 2021.
  15. ^ "Lou Reed Stockholm 74". youtube.com. YouTube. Retrieved 8 December 2021.
  16. ^ "Welcome to My Nightmare (film)". wikipedia.org. Wikipedia. Retrieved 8 December 2021.
  17. ^ "List of Alice Cooper solo band members". wikipedia.org. Wikipedia. Retrieved 8 December 2021.
  18. ^ "Toronto musician Prakash John scored his greatest gig with the Wayne Gretzky wedding". Toronto Star, Neil Acharya, July 16, 2017
  19. ^ Adams, James. "JAMMIN' WITH PRINCE IN YORKVILLE". theglobeandmail.com. The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 7 December 2021.
  20. ^ "Simply The Best, Nov. 2016". frontview-magazine.be. Front View Magazine. Retrieved 7 December 2021.
  21. ^ "Prakash John & The Lincolns". youtube.com. YouTube. Retrieved 7 December 2021.
  22. ^ "Jordan John: the son also rises". Toronto Star, Aileen McConville Sept. 4, 2012
  23. ^ "Sunnyvale Shoals (2019) Full Cast & Crew". imdb.com. IMDB. Retrieved 8 December 2021.
  24. ^ "Episode 57: Prakash John..." tpbpodcast.libsyn.com. Trailer Park Boys. Retrieved 8 December 2021.
  25. ^ Stewart, John. "R&B giant Prakash John not your typical rock star, Sept 2019". mississauga.com. Mississauga News. Retrieved 7 December 2021.
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  38. ^ "Alice Cooper – DaDa". discogs.com. Discogs. Retrieved 6 December 2021.
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External links[edit]