John Lawton  -    vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonica, TV presenter & actor ;-))



John began his musical career in North Shields, UK, in the early '60s with

"The Deans",who decided at random that John should be "singer".

He then moved on to "West One" and later to "Stonewall" which included
John Miles, Vic Malcolm (later Geordie) and Paul Thompson (later Roxy Music).
After "Stonewall" finished a stint at the "Top Ten Club" in Hamburg in 1969,

John decided to  stay in Germany.

After having been offered the "job" as singer with legendary German rock cult
band "Lucifer's Friend" ('69-'76 & '79 -'95) he records 9 studio albums during
his time with the band.
In the early '70s John also joined the Les Humphries Singers, with whom he
recorded more than 20 albums incl. taking part at 1975 Eurovision Song Contest.


In 1976 John joined Uriah Heep as their front man, recording the albums :

"Innocent Victim", "Firefly", "Fallen Angel" and "Live '79"
touring Europe and the USA until Sept. '79.
The ex - Uriah Heep front man and vocalist with Lucifer's Friend has built a
reputation for his powerful vocals and charismatic personality and is regarded
as one of the best singers around...
During his longstanding career John has worked with some big names of rock,
on various projects, including  Roger Glover's "Butterfly Ball" live @ the Royal
Albert Hall in 1975, feat. David Coverdale, Glenn Hughes, Ian Gillan and Twiggy.
He sang on Eddie Hardin's  Wizard's Convention II feat. Chris  Farlowe,
Dennie Lane, Paul Jones and Tony Ashton.
John had the privilege to have worked with some of the finest record producers,
including Tony Clarke  (Moody Blues) Jimmy Miller (Rolling Stones) and
Harold Faltermayer (Pet Shop Boys), who produced the titles John sang on the
Lenny McDowell Project "Lost Paradise" and Robert Papst
"Still paying my dues to the blues"
In late 1980 John joined German rock band "Rebel" later known as "Zar" on  
three albums, including their hit singles  "Line of Fire" & "Eagles Flight".
Moving on to Volker Barber's classical  project "Excalibur" and several German  
commercials, including the "Colgate Gel" TV spots, the "Peter Stuyvesant Travel"
single "Come Together" and a stint for Harley Davidson Motorbikes.
John briefly re-joined Rebel, by now known as "ZAR" to record another album.
Jan. 1994, John formed GunHill, later known as JLB - John Lawton Band,
touring UK & Europe.

In 1995 he briefly re-joined Uriah Heep, for 2 weeks, to tour South Africa with

Deep Purple, filling in for their singer Bernie, who was suffering from voice problems.
2000 - 2010

In August  2000, inspired by German top producer Robert Papst, John recorded

his solo CD "Still Paying My Dues to the blues.." Produced by Robert Papst, it
was released in Europe, UK and Scandinavia, by  "Hypertension Music" Hamburg
and distributed through "EDEL" Germany.

This album has been hailed as one of the "best works " John has  done...;-)

In May 2000 during the 4th Uriah Heep Annual Convention in London, plans
were made for a one-off concert by the so-called "Hensley/Lawton Band". 
John was joined by former Heep keyboarder Ken Hensley, for the first time 21
years after John's departure from Heep in 1979!
With them were Paul Newton (Heep's original bassist), and 2 members of John's
band, Reuben Kane on lead guitar and Justin Shefford on drums.
They played a collection of old Heep classics and some of Ken & John’s solo
songs to an amazed audience.
The concert was recorded for a CD release "The Return"
In Feb. 2001 John teamed up with Ken  to form the Hensley Lawton Band
After extensive  touring, during spring and summer of 2001, culminating with
a concert in Hamburg, featuring a full orchestra and a new rendition of Heep's
old classic "Salisbury", both Ken and John return to their respective "solo" careers.
In 2001 the John Lawton Band - "JLB" is taken on by Classic Rock Productions,
recording the acoustic CD "Steppin' It Up" which features John & Steve Dunning.
"One More Night" Live at the Mean Fiddler, CD & DVD, is recorded in 2002,
followed in 2003 by JLB's "Sting In The Tale" CD, an original studio rock album.
Later that year another Live CD & DVD followed : "Shakin' The Tale"..
JLB have been touring extensively with their last gig in Hamburg, Sept 2004,
when John .decided to take an indefinite break.
In May 2006 John joins forces with Dutch guitarist Jan Dumee (ex-Focus)
to form "OTR" ( On The Rocks ), a Project featuring Brazilian musicians 
Ney Conceião on bass, Xande Figueiredo on drums, and Marvio Ciribelli on
John & Jan have written material for an album recorded in Brazil in 2007.
OTR have  signed a record deal with " Lion Music" , covering Europe and North
America. The new album is named "Mamonama" and was  released on
10. October 2008
In 2009 the album was also  released in Brazil by "Dynamo Records"
John is still working with Bulgarian musicians to perform his Live Concert
schedule, including legendary Bulgarian rock band BTR & Yassen Dimitrov's
band Nightheat.
During  Dec. 2008 John entered the world of television by filming, directing
and presenting the Bulgarian travel documentary series
 "John Lawton presents" which also
includes music from the "Mamonama" album.
Made by Bulgarian TV company "Skat" the films feature interesting historical
landmarks of Bulgarian towns and cities, traditional festivities, breathtaking
scenery and interviews with the city mayors and local people.
2010 -
In March 2010 John made his acting debut, having been offered a small part
in the motionpicture Love.net filmed and produced by Bulgarian film company
Miramar Film. Part of Johns scenes were shot at Liscombe Park,  UK ,   
with the remainder in Sofia, featuring a guest appearance
by Uriah Heep guitarist Mick Box
The film was premiered in Sofia in March 2011 and released to
Bulgarian cinemas on 1. April 2011
John continues the filming of his documentary series about Bulgaria:
So far the series consists of  19 documentaries , shot all over Bulgaria.
In November 2011 John teams up with Bulgarian rock band "Diana Express"  
to record   the album "The Power of Mind" written and composed by
Dr. Milen Vrabevski.
Recorded in Pleven, Bulgaria, during  2011 & Jan. 2012, the album was
premiered live  in Bulgaria @ the "Sofia Live Club"on 29. April 2012.
In May 2013 John toured with Uriah Heep, again filling in for Bernie Shaw, who
was recovering from a routine medical procedure.
Durinng 2013 John became a Patron of the Bulgarian charity,
"Mothers for children with autism".in Sofia.
In Sept. 2013 John was presented with the "Eagle of the Danube" an award for
"Excellence in the promotion of Bulgarian history and culture".
Presented by Stanislav Petrov, Mayor of Svishtov, Bulgaria
October 2013 saw the recording of a new Album, "My Kind of Lovin' " in
collaboration with composer Dr. Milen Vrabevsky of Intelligent Music.
The Album features Simon Phillips of TOTO fame on drums, John Lawton on
vocals and Joseph Williams of TOTO, singing  guest vocals on 4 tracks.
By the end of  2014 Lucifer's Friend was in the process of reforming...
Debuting  at Sweden Rock Festival 2015 and releasing a Live CD from that show
In May 2017 John was invited by Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov
to the houses of Parliament in Sofia, due to his devotion to Bulgaria & various
initiatives contributing to the promotion of Bulgarian traditions, culture and history.
In July 2019 John was invited by Uriah Heep to guest with them,
 Paul Newton & Lee Kerslake at the Masters of Rock festival in Czech Republic
2019 was also the year John decided to retire
On 29. June 2021, John sadly and very unexpectedly passed away.
Read more about the history  of Lucifer's Friend here

Band Members
 Lucifer's Friend
. (1970 - 1976) (1980 - 1995)
 John Lawton - lead vocals
Peter Hesslein - guitar, vocals
 Dieter Horns - bass
 Peter Hecht - keyboards
Addi Rietenbach - drums
.---------------------------------- .
Herbert Bornholdt - drums
 Curt Cress - drums
 Udo Dahmen - drums
---------------------------------- .
. Mike Starrs - vocals
 Andrew Askin - keyboards
Jogi Wichmann - keyboards
 Andreas Dicke - bass
 Lucifer's Friend
 ( 2014 - 2021)
 John Lawton - vocals
Peter Hesslein - guitar, vocals
Dieter Horns - bass
. Jogi Wichmann - keyboards
 Stephan Eggert - drums
Markus H. Fellenberg - drums
(1994 - 1999)
John Lawton - vocals, harmonica
 Mick Raxworthy - vocals, keyboards
Ricky Robins - guitar, keyboards
Neil Kavanagh - bass, vocals
.Lloyd Coates - drums
.Roger Wilson - Hammond
 Brian Bennett - guitar, vocals
Chris Jones - drums
Dave Ross - guitar
Reuben Kane - guitar
 Arthur Ramm - guitar
Justin Shefford - drums
JLB - John Lawton Band
(2000 - 2004)
John Lawton - lead vocals
Erol Sora - guitar, vocals
Leon Lawson - keyboards
Steve Dunning - bass, vocals
Benjy Reid - drums
 John Lawton with BTR
 (2004 - 2021)
John Lawton - lead vocals
 Nasko Penev - vocals
Slavcho Nikolov - guitar, vocals
Kiril Bojkov - guitar
Ivan Kalfov - bass, vocals
Ilian Dikov - drums
 OTR - On The Rocks
 (2006 - 2010)
John Lawton - lead vocals
Jan Dumee - guitars
Marvio Ciribelli - keyboards
 Ney Conceião - bass
Xande Figueiredo - drums
John Lawton with Nightheat
(2008 - 2020)
 John Lawton - lead vocals
 Yassen Dimitrov - Hammond, vocals
Georgy Rusev - bass, vocals
 Svetlo Mihaylov - guitar, vocals
Dimitar Semov - drums



Last update : 14 March, 2024
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