John 5 is a guitarist of note. He picked up his stage name when he joined up with Marilyn Manson. However, John 5 has worked with a wide range of other artists, which isn’t even mentioning his career as a solo artist. As such, it is no exaggeration to say that he has contributed to a huge body of work in one way or another.
1. Born in Grosse Pointe, MI
John 5 was born in the city of Grosse Pointe in the state of Michigan. Once upon a time, it included what is now Grosse Pointe Farms as well. However, the two winded up going their separate ways in 1893 because of a disagreement about the location of a tavern. Regardless, both Grosse Pointe and Grosse Pointe Farms are now considered to be a part of the Detroit metropolitan area.
2. Started Playing the Guitar After Watching a TV Show
It is interesting to note that John 5 started playing the guitar after watching a TV show at the age of seven. Said TV show was Hee Haw, which was a variety show inspired by Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In. However, it was more than capable of differentiating itself from its source of inspiration, seeing as how it featured country music as well as rural culture. For most of its run, Hee Haw was hosted by a pair of country artists, with one being Buck Owens and the other being Roy Clark.
3. His Parents Were Supportive Under One Condition
John 5’s parents proved to be very supportive of his newfound interest. However, they had a condition for their support, which was that he didn’t let his guitar-playing interfere with his education. Thanks to this, John 5 went on to learn the guitar from the Detroit guitarist Robert Gillespie. Besides this, it is worth mentioning that his parents even accompanied him when he started playing the guitar at adult bars in the evening time.
4. Inspired By a Number of Bands
Naturally, John 5 was inspired by a number of bands. One example was KISS, which rose to prominence in the latter half of the 1970s while being helped along by its very memorable live performances. Another example was the Monkees, which consisted of four actor-musicians who played would-be stars on a situation comedy show before going on to become something much more interesting.
5. Inspired By a Number of Guitarists
On a related note, John 5 was also inspired by a number of well-known guitarists. For example, there was Eddie Van Halen, who played with Van Halen. Similarly, there was Randy Rhoads, who played with Quiet Riot and then Ozzy Osbourne. Other examples ranged from Jimi Hendrix to Yngwie Malmsteen. On top of this, John 5 also drew a great deal of inspiration from country music, which might come as a surprise to some because of the music genres that he is most associated with.
6. Started Out As a Session Musician
Generally speaking, artists don’t become successful right away. As a result, it is very common for them to work various jobs to support themselves while they are searching for their big breakthrough moment. In John 5’s case, he started out as a session guitarist, with the result that he became involved with a wide range of people in a wide range of projects. It seems reasonable to say that this was a productive time for him. After all, John 5 gained contacts such as the producer Bob Marlette. Furthermore, he built up his expertise and experience in his chosen field.
7. Didn’t Get Into Marilyn Manson the First Time He Tried
Amusingly, John 5 didn’t get into Marilyn Manson the first time that he tried. In short, he heard that the band was looking for a new guitarist in 1995. As a result, John 5 cold-called its studio to ask for an audition but winded up being hung up on because the band had already recruited Zim Zum. Instead, he winded up working with the former Judas Priest lead singer Rob Halford and others in 2wo, which produced a not particularly successful album in 1998. The band was supposed to go on tour, but when the tour was pulled, that was it for the band.
8. Got First Big Break Because of David Lee Roth
Eventually, John 5 got his first big break because of David Lee Roth, who tends to be best-known for being the Van Halen frontman. As such, John 5 was a big fan of said individual. Something that proved to be advantageous when he sent in six songs that impressed Roth, so much so that the latter asked for several more songs as well. This led to John 5 playing lead guitar as well as bass under the name B’urbon Bob on Roth’s 1998 album DLR Band, which was a critical success.
9. Got His Stage Name from Marilyn Manson
John 5 started using the stage name John 5 because of Marilyn Manson. Essentially, he tried out for the band a second time after Zim Zum had departed from it. This culminated in a lunch meeting with the titular frontman, who gave him the stage name then and there after he accepted the offer to join up. In total, John 5 was a part of Marilyn Manson from 1998 to 2004 before departing in pursuit of other things. At the time, there were rumors that John 5 had been booted out, which presumably weren’t helped by the fact that he had blown up at Marilyn Manson after accidentally being hit by said individual’s boot during a performance at the Rock Am Ring festival in 2003. However, John 5 has stated that the departure was a matter of mutual agreement.
10. Has Sphynx Cats
It is interesting to note that John 5 owns Sphynx cats. Said breed is extremely recognizable. After all, Sphynx cats have been bred to be hairless, which is something that influences a wide range of things about them. For instance, they lose body heat at a faster rate than other cats. Something that explains Sphynx cats being warm to the touch as well as Sphynx cats seeking out sources of heat on a regular basis. Furthermore, interested individuals need to be careful about exposing their Sphynx cats to sunlight because of the potential for sunburn as well as other forms of skin damage.