Playing History - Bands and associations: - Rush Release, Icarus, Abednego, Darryl Way's Wolf, Global Village Trucking Company, The Soft Machine, Stephane Grappelli, Second Vision, John Etheridge/Ric Sanders Group, Etheridge/Torff, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Birelli Lagrene, John Etheridge Trio, Elton Dean/John Etheridge Quartet, Danny Thompson's Whatever, Nigel Kennedy, Andy Summers, WEB (Williams, Etheridge, Bebey)
Current : - John Williams (duo), Sweet Chorus, The Soft Machine Legacy, Zappatistas, Blue Spirits, Solo gigs, Guitar workshops, Guitar Festival appearances.
Early Inspiration : - Hank Marvin, Django Reinhardt,Joe Pass , Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Wes Montgomery, John Maclaughlin .
John Etheridge rightly enjoys a glowing reputation throughout the jazz world and beyond and has been described by Pat Metheny as, "One of the best guitarists in the world". He is a prodigiously gifted and creative player whose approach to music can only be described as 'eclectic' as he refuses to accommodate or even acknowledge artificial musical boundaries. His range is well illustrated by his years of touring and recording with the iconic Stephane Grappelli while simultaneously doing likewise with the legendary jazz-fusion group, The Soft Machine. John is equally at home on acoustic and electric guitar and his willingness to engage with so many styles is matched by his ability to excel in any of them. He has played with John Williams, Yehudi Menuhin, Dizzie Gillespie, Herb Ellis, Mundell Lowe, Nigel Kennedy, Pat Metheny, Birelli Lagrene, Barney Kessel, Vic Juris and countless others. John's ability as an outstanding composer is sometimes overlooked but he is often under pressure from audiences to feature more of his own material.
John's promise was evident even during his earliest days of playing and he received recognition and encouragement from both Jimi Hendrix, whose comment was "You're great", and Eric Clapton, who told him after a gig, "You're not a great blues player but you're a great guitarist." After graduating in the History of Art in 1970 from Essex University and returning to London, John started to get seriously noticed when working in the various bands such as ex-Curved Air violinist Darryl Way's Wolf, an early jazz/rock outfit with whom he recorded three albums. Others included Icarus, Abednigo (which had a woodwind player named John Altman, later to become a famous film director), the short-lived Warhorse and the wonderfully-monikered Global Village Trucking Company. His 1975 leap into the front rank came when he was contacted by The Soft Machine after they had been given his number by the departing Allan Holdsworth. JE: "The album 'Bundles' was just out, and I started by promoting that. Then we did this great Summer tour with Mahavishnu Orchestra, Soft Machine, Caravan, Climax Blues Band, Wishbone Ash, all together, on this Hercules transport aeroplane, flying at 80 miles an hour - took about 4 hours to fly from Stuttgart to Marseille !... Unfortunately, the whole thing went bankrupt in the middle of it". The Soft Machine enjoyed legendary status as Europe's premier jazz-fusion exponents and John made a real impression as part of the band. This stage of his playing career is celebrated in the 2006 released DVD 'Guitar Legends' (see other cd's).