John Pearse Memorial Page


1939 – 2008 

John passed away peacefully in his sleep in the early morning hours of October 31, 2008 in Germany where he and his wife, Linda, have lived for the past several years. It was the gentle conclusion to a dynamic life which changed the face of acoustic music.

John was a musician, collector, inventor, author, actor, raconteur, record producer, t.v. personality, professor, publisher, cook, mentor, friend and co-founder of and partner in Breezy Ridge Instruments, Ltd. He lived his life driven to make music, to make music more accessible to everyone, to cherish the musicians who created the foundations of our modern music and to help keep their music alive, and to create and improve upon the tools musicians had to make their music.

Having both been involved in teaching music, we knew that Breezy Ridge was more important than either of us. He always told me that he had the dreams and I built the roadway. Breezy Ridge became that vehicle for John’s inventions and theories and will continue on the same roadway that we built.

We invite you to participate in the Pages we have set up to share your thoughts and stories too. We also invite you to share pictures, etc. Just mark your email “Memorial Pages” and send everything directly to the office at and we will see that they are added to our Memorial Pages. We apologize for any inconvience with closing the Visitor’s Pages we had up, but their intention was not up to the invention of some members of the cyberspace community.

John was buried in the wine country of Southern Germany which he loved on Wednesday, 5 November 2008, a beautiful clear and sunny fall day. He is survived by his wife Linda and son, Bill.

John certainly understood the importance of music in physical rehabilitation from his own experiences twenty five years ago after a medical accident. Initally paralyzed from the neck down, he had to not only reteach his muscles how to play as the movement slowly came back, but then he had to relearn how to play from his own books. That he was ever able to play the guitar again, without being able to feel either the fingerboard or the position of his hands and arms in space, was pure will power and no minor miracle. He was drawn to people who had such traumatic experiences, urging them to ignore dire medical predictions and to take their own healing back into their own hands.

Ignoring the right or wrong of the action and recognizing their human need and the power of music in healing, Operation Music Aid supplies musical instruments, mostly guitars, to active duty soldiers in Military hospitals in the US and abroad. In this way, this 501(c)(3) organization assists the weary and the wounded with their physical and psychological rehabilitation.

In addition to support from other manufacturers in the music industry, we have been supplying them with John Pearse® Strings. We also started supplying our bumper stickers and John’s STRINGALONG Book and Videos because it is one of the few books which shows how to string a guitar! If you have any questions please call Operation Music Aid at 203.318.5007. You can visit their web site at:

Donations in John’s honor and memory may be sent to

Operation Music Aid, PO Box 303, Madison, CT 06443

Donations may also be made to MUSIC CARES® – a 501(c)(3) branch of The Recording Academy, which provides support and care for musicians in distress. Breezy Ridge provided stability and security for John and I that most on-the-road musicians never experience and that we also never expected to experience. If you have any questions, please call the main office at 800.423.2017 or go to their web site at

Mary Faith Rhoads-Lewis

Co-Founder, Co-Owner, Partner, CFO