John Mahon

John Mahon's Biography

Percussionist, drummer and vocalist John E. Mahon has been playing with Sir Elton John since 1997. He has performed over 1,400 shows with the superstar, in over 65 countries. John was voted #3 Percussionist by Modern Drummer Magazine 2010 Readers Poll. He has recorded numerous albums and video with Elton John, achieving both Gold and Platinum success and played on BB King's Grammy Award winning record, "BB King & Friends - 80". As a writer and producer John has composed for Jose Feliciano, Ray Charles, Windows, and produced soundtracks for TV's LA Ink and others.

"My drumming career started when I was 13, as an original member of the Canton Police Boys Club Drum & Bugle Corp. They are now known as the award winning DCI Blue Coats.

From there John went through high school marching and orchestral bands, and choir at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Louisville, Ohio. He continued to study drums, percussion and singing privately in Northeast Ohio while playing full time in various jazz and top 40 bands. John moved to Los Angeles in 1983 on the recommendation of his drum teacher, Bill Severance.

There John formed his own pop original band, The Stickmen. As the lead singer John was also playing a hybrid electronic / acoustic drum set. This band opened doors to songwriting and recording sessions as a singer, programmer and player. John was introduced to the jazz scene recording and touring with Windows and then smooth jazz star, Peter White. This led to a tour with pop/folk musician Al Stewart (where John used his first Yamaha drumset, a white Recording Custom kit). He also toured with Helen Reddy and Rita Coolidge playing drums.

In the late 90's John was asked to join Chuck Negron of Three Dog Night's band playing acoustic & electronic percussion and singing backgrounds. In 1997, while songwriting with John's late-great friend Bob Birch, he introduced Mahon to Elton John's musical director Davey Johnstone who hired him for session work and consequently, asked Mahon to audition for Elton's band on percussion, electronic drums and vocals.

Playing and recording with Sir Elton John has given John the opportunity to play amazing music every night, all over the world for millions of fans. He have also had the great fortune to share the stage (if only for a few songs) with some incredible musicians like Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, Michael McDonald, Ray Charles, Tina Turner, Cher, John Mayer, Sting, Mary J. Blige, Barry Manilow, Patti LaBelle, Phil Collins, LeAnn Rimes, Bryan Adams, Anastasia, Leon Russell, Bonnie Raitt, Gregg Allman, Dolly Parton and others.

Elton John continues to tour the world year-round and can be seen regularly in Las Vegas, Nevada performing the Million Dollar Piano Show at Caesars Palace.

"My Yamaha instruments and gear have never let me down. From the fine craftsmanship of percussion and drums to the cutting edge technology of Yamaha electronics like DTX and Motif, I can play with confidence and inspiration."
Thank You Yamaha
— John Mahon

John Mahon's Gear