5 Questions with John E. Mahon

5 Questions with John E. Mahon, percussionist with Elton John.

1.  What are you reading or listening to lately?

I am of course reading all the drum mags to stay on top of gear and players. I am also reading a book my brother turned me onto, Physics of The Future by Michio Kaku. He is a world premier scientist and this book about the future of technology and man is very enlightening.

As of late, I am listening to Lorde, and some old Bob James albums, Ed Sheeran, and Isley Brothers.

2.  What is inspiring you – professionally or otherwise?

My brother was recently killed riding his bicycle to work. I am putting the wheels in motion on a safety awareness campaign. Mostly about getting cyclists seen on the roads. Not just adults but lots of kids are out there too and too many people are preoccupied with their lives these days and not keeping their eyes open. Look around…. you’ll see that heads are down.

I am also trying to record music these days for the love of it, and not worries so much about fitting the molds. Record sales are so sad these days that it’s important to stay true to your audible loves, and let the kids chase the trends.

3.  Who would your most coveted dinner guest be?

The first person that comes to mind –  Charlie Rose would be an amazing guest.

4.  What would you cook for them?

Cooking not being my forte… I would be making a simple cappellini pasta with fresh tomatoes and garlic. Lots of imported Romano or Parmesan cheese too!

5.  Favorite city to visit while on tour?

That’s a difficult question. While I love places like London and NY. I am starting to enjoy the smaller cities. Cork Ireland, Munich Germany, Cleveland Ohio and any little town in Italy, for the food of course! Anywhere I can go for a walk without dodging people is my first requirement.

About John E. Mahon

Multi-instrumentalist John Mahon’s early days were based in drums, recording and performing jazz, progressive jazz, rock, R&B and pop music with bands in Northeastern Ohio.

Moving to Los Angeles in 1983, he continued to play and study music. John has studied with David Garibaldi, Robert Edwards and at the Dick Grove School of Music along with many other teachers around the globe.

As a singer and drummer, John was featured with the band Windows and went from there to record and tour with Peter White. This led to tours and gigs with Al Stewart, Helen Reddy, Boney James and Rita Coolidge. As a percussionist and vocalist, John backed up Three Dog Night’s Chuck Negron. Before joining Elton’s band, John’s own band, The Stickmen, employed Bob Birch on bass.

As a writer, producer and programmer John has composed soundtrack albums for Wild Whirled Music, smooth jazz songs with Rick Braun and produced commercials for Ray Charles.

John was originally hired for the Elton John Band as a percussionist, but during tour rehearsals it was discovered that he could add his vocal talents to the mix — and now John is often spotlighted as a harmony vocalist on songs like Daniel and Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word.

John has recorded two full studio albums with Elton, Peachtree Road in 2004 and The Captain And The Kidin 2006, as well as various one-off tracks for other albums. He has also done studio work with Edgar Winter and B.B. King, amongst others, and appeared on Elton’s live album and video, One Night Only.

Joining Elton’s band in 1997 has also led John to share the stage with a long list of artists such as Billy Joel, Sting, Cher, Tina Turner, Michael McDonald, John Mayer, Mary J. Blige and Billy Joel.