January 23, 2017| « back

Happy Birthday John Mahon

John and Davey 2016

John (left) with Davey Johnstone at Elton’s 2016 Oscar Party.

Today please join us in celebrating the birthday of Elton’s percussionist and background vocalist with “Ten Things You Didn’t Know About” John Mahon.

  1. To date, John has played percussion and sung background vocals at 1,638 Elton concerts, starting with his first on July 8, 1997 in front of 40,000 people at the UNICEF Summer Open Air Festival in Aschaffenburg, Germany.
  2. With the release of Elton’s latest album, Wonderful Crazy Night, John has played on 49 songs across five Elton studio albums and soundtracks. His first was Elton’s cover of Don’t Stop on Legacy: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” in 1998.
  3. John has also appeared on 22 songs on two live albums: VH1 Divas Live ’99 and Elton John – One Night Only: The Greatest Hits in 2000.
  4. John joined the band by way of Music Director Davey Johnstone, whom he met through Elton’s late bassist, Bob Birch. John and Bob were musical collaborators in the 1990s and Davey asked him to sing on a side-project he was working on. Soon afterwards, John was invited to join Elton’s band.
  5. John’s skills as a singer were as important to Elton and Davey as his ability to play percussion.
  6. Before joining the Elton John Band, John was a member of a number of groups, such as Hard Times, Sneeze, Constellation, The Force, Punch, Windows, and The Stickmen.
  7. At the Million Dollar Piano shows in January and April 2016, John filled in for an ailing Ray Cooper on songs like Better Off Dead and Indian Sunset.
  8. John is an avid cyclist and also likes fast cars and motorcycles.
  9. John is ambidextrous; he writes left-handed.
  10. Having grown up in Ohio, John remains an avid fan of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Indians and attends games whenever he has the chance to visit his family back home.

You can read more about John Mahon, and other current and former members of Elton’s band, in the Elton John Band Archives.

Happy birthday, John – from all of us at!