Solo albums: One of the finest British bassists you can find. He has been in lots of bands, and he even had his own solo album, recorded in 1975, but unreleased until 1997.


This is his first known group. They formed in December 1959.

Brian Casser was later more known as Casey Jones. They split in December 1960, but formed a new band.


The original lineup formed in January 1961. They were the same musicians as in Cass & The Casanovas, except for Cass.

With this lineup, they also backed singer Cilla Black in several concerts.

They augment the lineup in July 1962.

They play for a whole month at The Star Club in Hamburg. When they were to return to England, Adrian Barber stayed in the club, as the manager. So, they again became a trio. This was August 1962. A great live band. They signed for Decca, being managed by Brian Epstein. Toured UK, also appearing in some TV programs. But, finally, Gustafson and Griffiths left the band in November 1963 to form a new band, The Seniors.

They released some singles, and an EP Live at The Cavern (Nov 63, Decca). It was reissued in 1981. In 1985 this EP was added to the compilation At The Cavern, with some other bands. Some other tracks appears in several compilations, like Mersey sounds, Mersey Beat '62-'64, Cavern stomp (reissued on CD by Edsel), etc.


In November 1963, Griffiths and Gustafson form another trio band, The Seniors.

They came back to Germany (Hamburg, and later, Frankfurt). But in February 1964, the band breaks when Gustafson leaves them to join a very famous band, The Merseybeats.


When Gustafson joined, the only remaining original member was Tony Crane. This was around February 1964.

They released a self titled album, The Merseybeats, and 3 EPs. But Gustafson was fired in December 1964.

This is the list of singles released by Merseybeats with John:


In January 1965, Griffiths and Gustafson are together again.

Their keyboardist soon leave the band. But the group's life was very short, and they disband in September 1965, after one single and short tours along UK and Germany.

JOHNNY GUSTAFSON (as a solo artist)  

Johnny released two singles (July 1965 and December 1965).


A funny (but appropiate) name.

They only released a single in June 1966.


I don't have info on this band. I only know John was there. When? Help!


In July 1969, Johnny joins this band (famous for having before some later Deep Purple guys - Ian Gillan and Roger Glover, although not at the same time as Johnny).

But in September 1969, Gustafson, Robinson and Underwood left to form their own band.

I think John appears in some Episode Six compilation, but I'm not sure.


It was September 1969, and this band seemed to be ready to break the charts, with a fantastic potential.

They released only one album, the superb Quatermass (produced by Anders Henriksson, a Swedish guy, and provider of the Swedish connection between John and Jane Shaffer). But they didn't obtain the success that everyone could imagine, and they finally disbanded in April 1971.

I've read that Ian Gillan collaborated in a Quatermass single, but I can't check it out.

Just recently, the band has been revamped as Quatermass II, although Gustafson is not involved there.

Their song, 'Black sheep of the family' was the reason Ritchie Blackmore told for leaving Deep Purple. He wanted DP to record it, and after being denied, he formed his own band Rainbow, and finally recorded that track.

I've read that the great percussionist Morris Pert also was a member of the band, but don't know when. Can anyone confirm me this point, please?

Recently, Gustafson is involved in selecting tracks for a projected live album from their original lineup. Good luck!


Next I know from Johnny is that he put together this band in 1971.

They released only one album, The entrance to hell, before Al Shaw quitting. The remaining three changed their name to Hard Stuff.


It was 1972, and another trio for Johnny.

They released two albums, Bulletproof and Bolex dementia, before disbanding.

Bulletproof has the same versions of the Daemon CD, excepting that of 'Mr Longevity', sung entirely by Gustafson in the Hard Stuff LP. The Daemon CD included some jamming and 2 songs that dont appear in the Hard Stuff LP.

THE BIG THREE (again)  

Back to the past! In 1973, Johnny's former band reforms again, with original members Griffiths and Gustafson, and a great drummer, Nigel Olsson!

They released only one album, Resurrection, with help from Mick Grabham (guitar), Henry Lowther (trumpet) and Peter Robinson (keyboards).


Well, I'm confused. I've read about this band, but we can notice it's the same lineup as former Daemon band, so I don't know if it's a mistake or it's really true. Does anybody know something about this "mystery"?


Johnny was in Spencer Davis Group before 1974, but I still haven't found info about that. Help me, please! I think the lineup must be:

But this lineup broke on 1974.


He joins great singer Shawn Phillips from 1974 to 1975 (approximate).

He appears in two Phillips albums: Furthermore and Rumplestiltskin's resolve.

On Furthermore, the whole album is played by this lineup:

Shawn Phillips (vocals, guitar)
Caleb Quaye (guitar)
John Gustafson (bass)
Peter Robinson (keyboards)
Paul Buckmaster (cello)
Ann Odell (mellotron on 'Starbright')
Raul Mayora (percussion)
Barry DeSouza (drums)
On Rumplestiltskin's resolve, John only plays in one song, 'Spitefull', with this lineup:
Shawn Phillips (vocals, guitar)
Caleb Quaye (electric guitar)
John Gustafson (bass)
Peter Robinson (keyboards)
Paul Buckmaster (organ)
John Pullen (oboe)
Barry DeSouza (drums)


This smart band, after losing his original bassist, Graham Simpson, has always hired musicians to fill this gap. Lots of great musicians have taken the bass roles here: Rik Kenton, John Porter, Sal Maida, John Wetton, Rick Wills, Gary Tibbs, Alan Spenner, Neil Jason, Chris Lawrence ... and John Gustafson. John joins them in April 1975, after John Wetton's sudden departure.

He played live with the band until September 1975, approximate, thus appearing in some tracks in the live album, Viva. He was replaced by Rick Wills. But as a session man, he also appears in three Roxy Music studio albums: Stranded, Country life and Siren. His most famous contribution is the bass line to their hit "Love is the drug".


This musicians' fest was assembled on October 16, 1975 by Deep Purple bassist, Roger Glover, in order to perform a stage version of his studio album with the same title. Ian Gillan became lead singer because the original singer, the great Ronnie James Dio, couldn't assist. John Gustafson (yet part of Ian Gillan Band) also played there with lots of other superb musicians. This has been released on video. Can anyone provide me with a list of musicians, as I don't have that video?


Formed in September 1975 by former Deep Purple singer, Ian Gillan, under the name Shangrenade, soon changed into Ian Gillan Band. The initial lineup was:

They released Child in time. But Mike Moran, being a studio session man, left the band very soon, being replaced by Mickey Lee Soule (from Rainbow, the band of another ex-Deep Purple, Ritchie Blackmore). But finally, in May 1976, the keyboard seat is filled with the definitive player, Colin Towns.

A superb lineup! Ray Fenwick, Colin Towns and Mark Nauseef someday will have their own pages in my Olympus (everyone there deserve it too!).

They released two studio albums, Clear air turbulence and Scarabus, very underrated (along with Child in time), because Ian Gillan didn't follow the hard rock style he performed in Deep Purple. He tried to make a different style, and his fans didn't understand this move.

Clear air turbulence contained six lenghty tracks, co-written by the whole band. One of my favourite songs is "Money lender". Yes, maybe it was too jazz-rock oriented, but I enjoy it anyway!

Scarabus is a more rock oriented album. All the songs were again written by the whole band.

It was also released a double live album, Live at Budokan, vol. 1 & 2, recorded in September 1977 (originally, it was sold as two different albums), with songs from their studio albums, as well as some Deep Purple covers ("Child in time" - with superb guitar solos from Mr. Fenwick in a very different version from the original, "Smoke on the water", "Woman from Tokyo"). Very passionate playing and singing, I love these albums.

In June 1978, Ian Gillan splits the band to form a different outfit, more rocking, not so jazz-funk oriented, under the nickname Gillan. He only kept Colin Towns with him.

A later release, The Rockfield mixes, seems to be an alternate mix for Clear air turbulence album.

There's a new live album released. It's called Live at the Rainbow, and it was recorded in London, in May 1977.


This fine guitarist (mostly acoustic, although he also uses electric guitar), has always had very good musicians in his bands. Around 1978, John joined him.

They released a studio album, The peacock party, although John only plays in two songs, being replaced in the other tracks by great bassist John G. Perry. This album is very good, and its cover is incredibly beautiful! The list of musicians is: Gordon Giltrap (guitar), Bimbo Acock (sax, flute, clarinet), Rod Edwards (keyboards), Richard Harvey (recorders, soprano crumhorn), Ian Mosley (drums), John G. Perry (bass), John Gustafson (bass), Morris Pert (percussion), Ric Sanders (violin), Eddy Spence (keyboards). My favourite track is "Dodo's dream".

There's also a live album with Gustafson, simply called Live.


This band was formed in the sixties by the late Johnny Kidd, under the name Johnny Kidd & The Pirates. Later, his famed guitarist Mick Green supposedly reformed the band after the split of his own band Shanghai, and Johnny Gustafson played with them for seven years. He replaced Johnny Spence, probably sometime around 1985:

They only released a single in Finland, featuring 'Lights out / I'm into something good' on blue vinyl.

Sometime later, Frank left the band, being replaced by another veteran, drummer Geoff Britton:

They released an album, Still shakin'.

Another change in drummer seat happened when Geoff left:

They released a new album, Live in Japan. Later, John left the band probably around 1992 or so.


This was the band for guitarist and singer Jack-E McAuley. He assembled a backing band for concerts, Poor-Mouth, without an stable lineup, but always comprising superb musicians, such as John Gustafson (bass), Rod Demick (bass), Don Airey (keyboards), Chris Parren (keyboards), Nick Payn (sax, flute), Clive Bunker (drums), Howard Tibble (drums). The band released two albums, but I don't have them, so I don't know if John Gustafson appears there. Help, please!

Where is he now?  

I'd like to know!!! :)

He was preparing an ANTHOLOGY for Angel Air records (the same that released his Goose grease) and will include 3 BIG THREE tracks that are unreleased. Angel Air expected to release it in February 99, but as far as I know, this hasn't happened.


John Gustafson, apart from the singles he released in the sixties, only has a solo album, Goose grease. But the interesting story is that he recorded it in 1976, but remained unreleased until now, when it has been issued on CD, remastered by old fellow Ray Fenwick. Check out the fantastic page Alex Gitlin has written about it, full of photos (watch below, in the Links section).

List of musicians:

It's a very interesting album, quite funky. The performances are superb, especially Mark Warner (you just have to listen to him in the track 'Cheap Astrakhan', as well as the solos on 'Boogie woogie' or 'What's your game?'). B.J. Cole is also fantastic on 'Poem about a gnome' or 'Freshness'. As I've said, the album was recorded in 1976, at Ramport Studios, London. Thanks to splendid record label Angel Air, we've been lucky to be able to listen to it.


Press here to read about John Gustafson sessions

Musicians mentioned in this page that I have projected to cover in my site someday: And short tributes to:

Links related

From the always interesting Alex's Picks (by Alex Gitlin), we have:


Family tree

Coming soon (I hope so!).

Thanks section

Very special thanks to: Bernard Futter, for his extensive info about The Pirates, Jason Farley, for his comments and link.

Thanks to: Alex Gitlin for the scans, lots of info about John, and for his support and encouragement; Rodrigo Werneck for his help; Rafael Zamora, for info about Daemon, Hard Stuff, and current news; Jean Boissonneault, for info about Shawn Phillips.


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Page created by Miguel Terol on: 03/February/1998. Last modified on: 28/April/2000.