From Dr. Feelgood to the Yardbirds – Gypie Mayo

Gypie Mayo

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Gypie Mayo
Birth name John Phillip Cawthra
Born 24 July 1951
HammersmithLondon, England
Died 23 October 2013 (aged 62)
Genres Rock
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter
Instruments Guitar
Associated acts Dr. FeelgoodThe Yardbirds

Gypie Mayo (born John Phillip Cawthra; 24 July 1951 − 23 October 2013)[1] was an English guitarist and songwriter, playing in Dr. Feelgood from 1977 to 1981, and from 1996 to 2004 in the reborn Yardbirds with Alan Glen.[2]

Early career[edit]

Mayo was born in HammersmithLondon on 24 July 1951. At an early age, he listened to the classical music his father played while at home. Later, he heard “Apache” by The Shadows and enjoyed the record. However, it was when Mayo saw the group on television with their Fender Stratocasters that he became passionate.

I was instantly hooked. I bought all their records etc. aged 10-11. Then the Beatles happened and the whole music thing changed. At about this time I acquired a cheap Russian made acoustic (1964) and taught myself Beatles/Stones etc. songs. I chose the guitar ‘cos I’d always been fascinated with its sounds + looks ever since becoming a Shadows freak.

Gypie Mayo, May 1997 [3]

After being expelled from school, Cawthra began using the performing name of Mayo and worked in a printing shop before joining the blues band White Mule in 1969. The band stayed together for about a year and played all over the United Kingdom, along with gigs in Switzerland and France. They released a single on MCA Records which was produced by Mike Leander. After White Mule, Mayo played in various rock line-ups during the early to mid-1970s including Halcyon, 747 and Alias. He also was part of an Irish traditional band called Concrete Mick where he played the mandolin before becoming Wilko Johnson’s replacement in Dr Feelgood.

With Dr. Feelgood[edit]

Mayo had been relatively unknown until early 1977 when he replaced Wilko Johnson in Dr. Feelgood, although Henry McCullough had temporarily stood in when Johnson left.[4] He was known as John Mayo until, having suffered several minor ailments, Dr. Feelgood’s Lee Brilleaux said “you’ve always got the gyp” and the nickname stuck.[5]

Mayo played with Dr. Feelgood for four years and on six albums (Be Seeing YouPrivate PracticeAs It HappensLet It RollA Case of the Shakes and On The Job).[4] He co-wrote the Feelgood’s only UK Top 10 single “Milk and Alcohol” with Nick Lowe, and played on four of the five other Dr. Feelgood singles to have appeared in the UK Singles Chart (“She’s A Wind Up“, “Down at the Doctors“, “As Long As The Price is Right” and “Put Him Out of Your Mind“); the only Feelgood single to have charted without him was “Sneakin’ Suspicion“.[6]

Later career[edit]

Mayo’s guitar work was featured on the Yardbirds’ 2003 album, Birdland.

He lived in BathSomerset, where he played in several bands, taught guitar, and made guest appearances on albums such as Pete Gage‘s Tough Talk.

On 23 October 2013, it was announced that Mayo had died at the age of 62. News of Mayo’s death broke, when former Feelgood guitarist Wilko Johnson posted a message on his Facebook page stating: “Very sad to hear Gypie Mayo passed away this morning..RIP Gypie.”[7]


  1. Jump up^ “Q&A session at Dr. Feelgood’s official website”. Retrieved 2008-11-03.
  2. Jump up^ Laura_Trem. “Dr Feelgood guitarist Gypie Mayo from Bath dies”. Bath Chronicle. Retrieved 2013-10-23.
  3. Jump up^ “DR FEELGOOD – Gypie Mayo Questionnaire”. Retrieved 2013-03-19.
  4. Jump up to:a b Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. pp. 290–292. ISBN 1-84195-017-3.
  5. Jump up^ Moon, Tony (2002). Down By The Jetty – The Dr Feelgood Story (2nd ed.). Borden, Hants: Northdown Publishing Ltd. p. 60. ISBN 1-900711-15-X.
  6. Jump up^ Moon, Tony (2002). Down by the Jetty – The Dr Feelgood Story (2nd ed.). Borden, Hants: Northdown Publishing Ltd. pp. 124–125. ISBN 1-900711-15-X.
  7. Jump up^ “Gypie Mayo dies aged 62 | Music”. Retrieved 2014-07-04.

External links[edit]



Wikipedia contributors, “Gypie Mayo,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (accessed July 6, 2017).