The Sunset Strip website interviewed John 5 before he and The Creatures performed last week in LA. John 5 reminisces about his own experiences, what The Strip mean to him as a fan and a musician, takes a walk back to his days in Manson and what its like to be playing with his “brother” Rob Zombie.
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JOHN 5 COMES FULL CIRCLE ON THE SUNSET STRIP
Read the interview in full: http://thesunsetstrip.com/blog/john-5-comes-full-circle-sunset-strip
Truly one of those mythical, often talked about, but rarely realized Hollywood success stories, John Lowery moved to The Sunset Strip at the age of 18 with a singular ambition – to become a session guitar player. And with a little good luck, a number of big breaks and an astounding amount of skill, Lowery eventually moved has way up through the rock n’ roll ranks, snagging coveted spots playing live and studio guitar for everyone and anyone (Salt-N-Pepa, Rick Springfield, Lita Ford, k.d. lang, etc) before eventually earning the chance to not only play with, but co-write with Diamond David Lee Roth.
This pivotal gig with DLR then paved the way for Lowery’s most well-known career work – six years as guitarist for Marilyn Manson. It was this period, during the height of Manson’s notoriety, where Lowery was rechristened John 5, toured the world and co-wrote two certified Gold records (Holy Wood, The Golden Age of Grotesque).
Now, currently at the helm as Rob Zombie’s guitarist and collaborator for the past 10 years, John 5 has far surpassed his childhood dreams of becoming a mere session guy and moved into the realm of bona fide “rockstar.”
Last week 5 returned to the place where it all began, his old stomping grounds on The Sunset Strip, where along with his band The Creatures, he performed to a packed to the rafters crowd at the landmark Whisky A Go-Go – a showcase that proved to be the culmination of a hard earned and much blessed career grinding out his axe.
You moved to L.A. when you were around 17 or 18 years old… Share with us your recollections of the scene at that time.
My whole life was The Strip. I mean my whole life was The Strip! I lived on Fuller in an apartment complex right behind Ralph’s (so-called “Rock n’ Roll Ralphs”). My friend and I worked at Penguin’s Frozen Yogurt on Sunset and La Brea, and we would just go down Sunset every night and go to the Whisky. In the late 80’s there used to be this great Monday night jam thing… Bands would get up and play a few songs, and it was so much fun! We would do that on Monday nights and it was packed, it was awesome… and then we’d go see shows at Gazzarri’s (now 1OAK), The Roxy, or just go to the Rainbow. It was such a great time! Of course everybody tells you this, but it really was… There were so many people you couldn’t even walk on the street, I mean literally it was impossible to walk down the street!
You would see Nikki and Tommy (Mötley Crüe), Slash, David Lee Roth and everybody hanging out at these clubs. It was amazing! I cherish those times, and I am so lucky that I got to be a part of them because it’s never happened ever since then, and it never will again. That time that I was on The Strip was magic. It was absolute magic! There was electricity in the air, and it was an electricity of strippers and sleazy music, and you know just debauchery and amazing, amazing fun. I didn’t have a care in the world, not a responsibility in the world and it was unbelievable.