born on 31/10/1939 in Hawaii, United States
died on 5/1/2004 in Los Angeles, CA, United States
John Payne Guerin (October 31, 1939 – January 5, 2004) was an American drummer, percussionist, and session musician.
Guerin was born in Hawaii and raised in San Diego. As a young drummer he began performing with Buddy DeFranco in 1960. In the late 1960s he moved to Los Angeles where his talented drum work was utilized by artists including Frank Sinatra, George Harrison, Frank Zappa, The Animals, Joni Mitchell, Them, Thelonious Monk, Lou Rawls, Ray Conniff, George Shearing, Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald, Linda Ronstadt, Nelson Riddle and countless others. From July 1972 to January 1973 he was the drummer for The Byrds, and joined the L.A. Express later that year. The band served as Joni Mitchell's back-up band on tour during the mid- to late-1970s; Guerin had a brief relationship with Mitchell at the time.
A leading exponent of the jazz-rock style, he was one of the most prolific drummers of all time. Among his many contributions to motion picture and television scores, Guerin worked on the soundtrack to the 1988 film homage to Charlie Parker, Bird by Clint Eastwood. Those are also his drums on the theme song during the opening credits for the television series Hawaii Five-O.
Guerin died of heart failure on January 5, 2004 in West Hills, California.
With Gene Ammons
- Brasswind (Prestige, 1974)
With Don Ellis
- Haiku (MPS, 1974)
With Monk Higgins
- Extra Soul Perception (Solid State, 1968)
With Blue Mitchell
- Blues' Blues (Mainstream, 1972)
With Oliver Nelson
- Black, Brown and Beautiful (Flying Dutchman, 1969)
- Zig Zag (Original Motion Picture Score) (MGM, 1970)
With Howard Roberts Spinning Wheel
- Antelope Freeway (Impulse!, 1971)
With The Byrds
- Banjoman - The Original Soundtrack (recorded 1972, released Sire, 1977) (Various Artists, 2 live tracks by The Byrds)
With Tom Scott
- Rural Still Life (Impulse!, 1968)
With Bud Shank
- Magical Mystery (World Pacific, 1967)
- Let It Be (Pacific Jazz, 1970)
With Gábor Szabó
- Light My Fire with Bob Thiele (Impulse!, 1967)
- Wind, Sky and Diamonds (Impulse!, 1967)
With Frank Zappa
- Lumpy Gravy (Capitol, 1967)
- Hot Rats (Bizarre/Reprise, 1969)
- Chunga's Revenge (Bizarre/Reprise, 1970)
- Apostrophe (') (DiscReet, 1974)
- The Lost Episodes (Rykodisc, 1996)
With Seals and Crofts
- Diamond Girl (We May Never Pass this way Again) (Warner Bros, 1973)
- "John Guerin Obituary". The Daily Telegraph. 15 January 2004.
- "John Guerin, 64, Popular Drummer". The New York Times. Associated Press. 18 January 2004.
- John Guerin at AllMusic
- John Guerin discography at Discogs
- John Guerin at Find a Grave