John McGeoch Archive
In collaboration with the family of John McGeoch, we want to make an internet archive of fan photos, stories and memorabilia. The Light Pours Out of Me includes numerous, never-before-seen photographs drawn from the archives of John's family and from photographers. These include images taken on tour by Dave Formula. We are kicking off the archive with a few photographs by Dave Formula. If you have material or ideas you can contribute, please email email@example.com. Thanks!
'A photo from 1981 at the Paradiso in Amsterdam. At the time, Juju was released. It is quite possible it was taken during ‘Voodoo Dolly’ judged from the gig tape and the frame number.' - Marc Tilli
'A photo from the Kaleidoscope Tour. It was his first with Siouxsie to the mainland of Europe.' - Marc Tilli
I was a student on the BA Fine Art course at Manchester Polytechnic with John. He was in the second year and I was in the year above but we shared the same painting studios in the same building known as the Medlock Fine Art Centre. This would have been between 1974 and 1977.
There were a couple of other guys on the course interested principally in traditional blues guitar and they, along with John would jam acoustically from time to time in the art studios in breaks from painting.
I left in '77 and John was still to graduate though I seem to recall him being away from the painting course for some reason at about the time bands, including Magazine were forming in Manchester and maybe his involvement in that was the reason. Perhaps close personal friends of his could elaborate on that. I know John eventually finished his degree and I believe he was awarded a first class honours.
The music scene developed quickly after that time and I can remember some early gigs and seeing posters advertising where bands were playing. The rest as they say is history.
On a personal level my memories of John at that time were that he was a quietly spoken young man, diminutive perhaps but with a strong presence and once met, never forgotten along with his gentle Scottish accent. He was clearly very motivated and focused both musically and artistically albeit finding his way as we all were in those formative years.
In retrospect I feel honoured to have been around at a time of important cultural change and innovation in Manchester in the 1970's.
Later on I have revisited much of John's repertoire with various bands and come to appreciate fully his stature and influence in music. I was shocked and saddened to hear of his passing in 2004 at far too young an age.
Very best wishes,
Can't wait for this book. John came from my home town of Greenock in Scotland and as a leading light in the post punk scene with Magazine he was a real inspiration to me, so much so that I formed my own band, Deadbeat. Well if a boy from the Fancy Farm scheme could make it then surely me from the Bow Farm scheme on the other side of the valley could too, right? Maybe not but it didn't stop me from trying. My band came to nothing but punk and its offspring remain in my blood to this day and the noises he could extract from his guitar still haunt me.
He was bold to favour his Yamaha like fellow Scot Stuart Adamson with The Skids when the glitterati were sporting Gibsons and Fenders but he stood out as a result and his playing won the hearts and minds of many.
I now live in County Durham so I'm looking forward to the book taking me back to the times, places and venues of my childhood and youth that we would have shared albeit a few years apart. I really can't wait. This has been a long time coming.
I loved John McGeoch. Deeply.
His influence on my playing is immeasurable. From Magazine through to the Banshees and on to the 'super group' consisting of 50% ex Skids and 50 % ex Magazine - The Armoury Show, I was an ardent fan.
So much so that in '83 when they played at Spring Street in Hull I 'invaded' the stage to get a photo with him. He took it in great humour and when I ended up backstage after the show I blagged guest list action for the Loughborough and Southampton dates that followed. There was a riot on the first date! Proper kicked off when the singer Richard Jobson jumped into the audience to teach someone who had been taunting him a lesson. Band and fans all scrapping. Richard's brother Michael came out of side stage swinging one of John's guitars like a scythe at some loon down the front that had pulled a knife. I'm sure the miscreant did time for it. What a baptism of fire.
Then after thumbing all the way to Cornwall to see them at The Elephant Fayre festival, John asked if I wanted to do the forthcoming tour as a lighting assistant. A made-up job as the tour was so small, lighting help wasn't needed. A wonderful gesture and an indication of his warmth and generosity. I was ecstatic.
An excellent two weeks followed zig-zagging around the UK. My fan-boy outlook undiminished.
I was lucky enough to see John wielding his Yamaha with Siouxsie and also a few times with the Armoury Show.
Unbelievable talent and a top notch boy fae Greenock. RIP