John Ellis - musician / artist / author




Formed the legendary BAZOOKA JOE

Band members included Adam Ant. First Sex Pistols gig was as support to Bazooka Joe. A very influential band despite making no records.


Released 2 albums for Epic. Also played with Chris Spedding on TV and a couple of shows. REM covered a Vibrators single. Extensive touring and TV/ Radio appearances including John Peel sessions.

Released 2 solo singles.

Played guitar in Jean-Jacques Burnel’s Euroband for UK tour

Formed RAPID EYE MOVEMENT featuring HOT GOSSIP dancers and electronics. Supported Jean-Jacques Burnel’s Euroband on UK tour.

Joined Peter Gabriel Band for “China” tour and played on Gabriel’s 4th solo album.

Stood in for Hugh Cornwell for 2 shows by THE STRANGLERS at the Rainbow Theatre. Album from gig released.

Worked with German duo ISLO MOB on album and single

Started working with Peter Hammill eventually doing many tours and recording on 7 albums.

Rejoined THE VIBRATORS for more recording and touring

Founder and press officer for the famous M11 Link Road campaign.

Recorded 2 albums under the name of PURPLE HELMETS with Jean-Jacques Burnel and Dave Greenfield of THE STRANGLERS.

Played additional guitar on THE STRANGLERS ‘10’ tour.

Joined THE STRANGLERS as full-time member. Extensive touring and recording over 10 years. Many albums released including live recording of Albert Hall show. Played many festivals across the world. Many TV and Radio appearances.

Started recording series of electronic instrumental albums as soundtracks for Art exhibitions. 5 CDs released by Voiceprint

Also released WABI SABI 21©, the first of a trilogy of albums inspired by Japanese culture.

Worked on JUDGE SMITH’S “CURLYS AIRSHIP” project over 5-year period.

Left THE STRANGLERS to work in Internet business.

Worked for WILDLIFE TRUST as fundraiser.

Guitarist on “Jimi Hendrix Welsh National Anthem” hoax. Massive coverage on British news, including appearing on Newsnight.

Occasional session work and soundtrack composition.

Started teaching guitar and running music-based workshops.

Formed The Luma Group, a not-for-profit organisation providing arts based workshops for schools and community groups,                                                                                       

Won Lottery award to deliver 100 free guitar lessons in London schools. Delivered film and photography workshops for various charities.

Started doing live solo work (live soundtrack improvisation) using looping technology and laptop.

Created CHANOYU RECORDS to release solo work.

Worked in Europe doing live soundtrack improvisation, Masterclasses etc.

Formed DREAM DETECTIVES with German artist Moi. Moser to create multi-media projects and performances.

Released ‘Sly Guitar’, an album of leftfield guitar instrumental music.

Created and broadcast “International Ear’, a weekly ‘World Music’ radio show for East London Radio.

Guitarist on Orfeas, a reworking of the Orpheus myth by Judge Smith. Also lead guitarist on a rock requiem composed by Judge Smith.

Released ‘Infinity Drive’, the 2nd album release on Chanoyu Records.

Self-published a novel called ‘A Gift Of Serenity’, available on Amazon.

Song-writing and live performance continues including Gigteractive, an interactive solo show.

Still doing web design, album artwork, song writing and performance.

John has his own website at


Picture credit: Russell Duncan