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Memorial Page 4


sorry to hear of john’s passing, i have found memories of john’s playing, particularly , magees rag , still havent figured it out , hope to see you on the otherside, god bless

Barney Bowes, Ireland

John’s passing is a huge loss, but he certainly left his mark on the musical world with his philosophy and creativity. Breezy Ridge Instruments is such a great company, and Mary Faith Rhoads Lewis a great person that will keep it going, as she always has. Rest In Peace dear John.

Cindy Cashdollar, United States

I knew John for almost 20 years and was saddened to hear of his passing. I remember fondly visiting him in Pennsylvania, cooking food , and playing and talking guitars all day.I always looked forward to seeing him at NAMM every year. I will miss you John. My condolences to Linda and Mary Faith. Larry Wexer

Larry Wexer, United States


I knew John back in the early 80’s. A nice guy. He will be missed. Rest in peace, John. May the music play on…

Keith Laposh, United States

So sorry to hear of John’s passing.
I’ve never met him, but I feel him very closely via the best guitar strings he provides.

Rest in peace, John.

Ken Oya Acoustic Guitars
Ken Oya, Japan

I remember John’s tale of how he bought a very old Martin for almost a song from a lady on a train in England. I met him in 67 in Norwich where he always put on a terrific show at Alex Atterson’s folk club. Rest in peace John, my condolences to his family

Chris Berrill, Switzerland


Met him some years ago at NAMM. My co-worker had an endorsement with them and introduced me to the whole group.

From that meeting started a tradition at the end of every NAMM show, John and I would sit at his booth, reflect on the show and he would always share some of his wine that he brought with him.

I will miss him.

Mike, United States


Sorry to hear about John’s passing. I visited with him on several occasions at NAMM shows. Our conversations often centered around my fondness for his writing. His guitar-related short stories appeared for some time in Vintage Guitar Magazine, and he was kind enough to autograph a copy of his book – Carousel.

His larger-than-life presence will be missed by all who knew him and looked forward to seeing him at the various events he was known to attend.
God speed, Sir John!

Gregg Hopkins, United States

It is with deep sadness that I learned of the passing of a dear friend. During my nearly 50 years in the music industry, I met many people but none more fascinating to me as John Pearse. He contributed a great deal to the field of music and he will be missed by many.

John had a wonderful way about him. I will always cherish our friendship. My heartfelt condolences to all of his family and friends. Sincerely,
John D’Addario, Jr.

John D’Addario, Jr., United States


I first saw John Pearse on the tv and was immediately impressed by his guitar playing and personality. I learnt to play the first part of GUITAR TRAIN the signature tune and still do play it but I’ve never learnt the second half. He was an excellent teacher and will be greatly missed all over the world.

James Whatley, United Kingdom

John was a great man whose work spanned 50 years of modern guitar history. I loved his bright curious and music-loving mind, and extremely generous spirit. John supported music and really supported musicians like me. His influence continues to ring on through my music and so many other musicians. The world has been a better place through John’s work in his life. Thanks to John and to all the people who work at Breezy Ridge to help the world of music.

Bob Brozman, United States


John was a real gentleman with a fine sense of humor and a love of life. It was an honor to have known him and the he will be greatly missed.

Sidney Davis, United States

I’m new to blues music. I met Danny Kane (comment 50) on holiday in Portugal this year and got to play resonator guitar for the first time in my life. I bought a resonator more or less as soon as I got home. I never met John, but I must have played some of his strings. I am sorry for your loss and hope that you gain strength from the messages of support and admiration for a man who has helped make countless people happy.

Stuart Rickards, United Kingdom

I knew John and Linda in 2003. We was neighbors and I had the honor to be John´s friend .
He brought to me and my wife a lot of happiness ,a way of life that I left in my country ,in Rome.
He has a wonderful sense of humor and we could hear his whistle from our sleeping room.
We sit together and we talk about 20.000 projects that just left our mind to fly .This was the way John was , a wonderful man full of ideas and want to work and do. The last time I saw him in the hospital he was semi-conscious but he told me: Michele I have to go away from here I have so many things to do at home ,so many things to do.

I had the opportunity , the luck, the honor , to shoot a documentary film on his life. During one shooting day ,in a rehab clinic , I was pushing him to fight against his pain, I told him ,John you have to get better because I want to end the film with a scene where you walk again. He told me ,could also be good to end the film with an image of my grave, and we laugh together .
Unfortunately this is right the way how the doc it will end.
I am really sorry for you Linda and I will never forget John and his way to be.


Michele Ferresin, Germany


I met John and Mary Faith at the Eshbach Hotel in 1979. I was 18.
Eighteen years later, on Mary’s advice, I asked John to produced my CD, Blue Coyote. I didn’t even know he was a Producer!!! I later found out he’d once produced Paul McCartney in a London session.

I went to John and LInda’s house in New Tripoli to play him a few songs I was thinking we could record. John answered the door wearing a white pin-striped floor-length Caftan. His larger-than-life personality was finally matched by the shock of this refined man/inventor/master musician/writer standing there before me in his jammies as if he dressed this way for all his production meetings!! A little embarrassed, I followed him in.

We visited for awhile and then I began to play him a song, The Marijo Tonight, which had won the Kerrville award the year before. It’s a portrait of a Dublin bar-it’s flies and families and the one (named John) who gets out just in time to save himself and the dreams of the others who are left behind. John Pearse listened and watched me like a hawk, hanging on to every word. And then his tears began. At first, gently, but soon, without shame, without self-consciousness, he cried and sobbed and continued to listen until the end. I was crying inside too. I knew and he knew that this is what music is for – being moved, sharing truths, lifting ourselves above our egos to find the essence of our humanity and finding each other through that moment.

He gifted me with his vulnerability that day. His heart was very big.

One day in the recording studio at Signal Sound, I was to record the vocal track to a very personal song, called Once Like You. It is no secret I had a tough childhood, as John was discovering through the lyrics I wrote. This song was about an adult assaulting a child. In the middle of the 2nd take of the bridge, I broke down crying, somewhat uncontrollably, leaning hands and knees on the floor of the vocal booth. In a few minutes, John gently knocked on the door and opened it. I looked up at him leaning on his cane and looking at me like a loving father would, telling me we didn’t have to continue if I needed to stop.
His words were a salve to my heart and mind. He gave me a choice. At that moment, he instinctively knew what to say to me. For a man who never had his own children, for that moment, he was a great, sensitive and very strong father.

I share all of this in love and friendship, in joy for his legacy, in prayer for the entire family and friends of John. Thank you Mary Faith for many years of friendship and for this opportunity to share our love. Thank you Linda for all you’ve brought to the world by supporting him. Thank you Spafford for being there for Mary.

all peace and love,

Jackie Tice, United States

I just happened upon today’s Telegraph, a paper I never read, and saw that my old mate John, the person who inspired me, aged 17, to play the guitar and later to buy a Martin, has died.
Mary Faith – you may remember we met up in Athens in 1978/79? John was someone really special and will be remembered fondly by many.

Stephanie Syers, United Kingdom


I only know of John through Mary and his great strings but his business speaks well of him. Everyone at Breezy Ridge is a delight to deal with and conversations invariably include topics such as travel and food as well as music. John’s life sounds like one well lived.

Bill Cooley, United States

While performing the mundane task of checking the links on my website I came upon the sad news that JMP had passed away. Although I had not had the honor of meeting him I have been using his strings religiously for the past several years and as an endorser I have tried to tell anyone and everyone that there is still a craftsman out there who makes an incredibly superior product. Godspeed John Melville Pearse and my heartfelt condolences to your family and friends. Had we met I’m sure we would have been good pals. RIP

Beaux Jaxom, Hungary

I was saddened to read of John’s recent passing. Having had the pleasure of meeting and talking with him many times over the years at various trade shows and festivals in various parts of the world, I found him to be warm, sincere, knowledgeable and always jovial. He will be missed, not only by his family but also his many friends in the music business. May he rest in peace.

Rick Nelson, United States

Sadly enough, another wonderful soul has departed this earthly plane and gone onto the next. I have suffered many losses in the last 18 months and though I only knew John through his strings, I feel the loss as all do. When you meet my family on the other side, play for them and rest in the light. Many thanks.

Mic Kempf, United States