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Memorial Page 1


Really sad to hear of John’s death. I’ve written elsewhere how one of his instruction books inspired my guitar playing back in the 60s. Looks like I’m not alone, McGhee’s Rag has stayed with me and is my regular warm up piece. RIP John.

Don Mackie, New Zealand


Thank you for your strings, your music, your friendship, your life.

Todd Newman, United States

Every note that comes out of any guitar I play is basically down to you, John. You, Linda, Mary-Faith, et al loved me back into my music. You will live on through every note.

Your legacy is far greater than even you imagined. So very many players of my generation are there just because of you.

Rest now. It’s time for you to be entertained, free from pain, set loose from this fragile frame. Thank you, John. from Simon, Charlene and family.

Simon PC Frost, United States

Me and my wife were lucky enough to spend time with John and Linda in Germany. They opened there home to us with open arms. We only met them once, but they treated us like they have known us for years. We will never forget you John. Thank you.

Mike and Chelsea Moe, United States

Soon after I first picked up a guitar back around 1960, I found my way to a class John was running at Cecil Sharp House In London. He was a great teacher, and a lovely man.

I’m still grateful to him for helping get me started making music and songs, and I always will be.

Kevin McGrath, United Kingdom

I have always loved the inventions of John, especially the wooden armrest to go on the edge of the guitar. Not only are they incredibly functional, but also look great. I am sorry to hear of John’s passing and he will live on with many guitarists!

Ron Horvitz, United States

What a magical legacy this man leaves, touching so many lives, encouraging so many players, leaving so much great music behind, cracking so many ribs in his giant bear hugs…peaceful and harmonious passing to you, Sir John! Farewell wherever you fare!
Bright Blessings…

Gayla Drake Paul, United States

I’m very sorry to hear of John’s passing, and rather embarassed to admit that i only knew him as the man on the string packets. I’ve been playing his acoustic strings since David Rea first introduced me to them in the mid-1980s; they’re the only acoustic guitar strings I use, and I’ve evangelized them to people ever since. But I never knew of his long and illustrious record as an inventor and educator. I wish him peace and light, and send the same to his family and friends. Well done, sir!

Robert E. Bihlmayer, United States

We’ll miss John at the NAMM shows. His friendly ways always raised the spirits of everyone around him.

Muriel Anderson, United States

I met John at a NAMM show in Los Angels,he was always so nice to everyone who stopped by and answered everyones questions and treated everyone with respect no matter what they looked like…

Aantone’s Music, United States

Though I only got to know John through the Winter NAMM shows and the Texas vintage shows, I was flattered that each year he would remember me and ask after me and mine. He was so generous with his enthusiasm for music and instruments, that being included in his circle, even for a few minutes, enriched the whole convention experience and gave one the strength to visit another booth and make another friend.
His family will be in our thoughts.

Stan Burg, United States

Unfortunately, I only got to meet John a couple of times. And he was delightful and positive on those occasions, despite his declining health. But I have learned much more about the man from the product he created. Along with Mary Faith’s efforts, the musician’s life is definitely a better one as a result of this man’s existence. He leaves a legacy of wonderful strings and accessories. It is true, I don’t play – but I listen – and what I have heard from the instruments and from the musician’s who use John’s products is admiration, respect and loyalty. What a way to leave this world!

Dana Thorin, United States




God bless you John. Without your inspiration I wouldn’t have got my chops…

Pete Howlett, United Kingdom

I’m profoundly saddened to learn of John’s death, although I have to be glad that his long struggle has ended. Our friendship began at NAMM in Anaheim, where every year for the past ten or so my friend Mark Humphrey and I would visit the Breezy Ridge booth, and usually managed to cart John, sometimes Linda, and more rarely Mary Faith (who was the one who actually did all the work of running the booth while John socialized!) off to lunch. He regaled us with stories of his travels, food and drink, great wines he had discovered, new guitars he had bought; he was always inviting us to visit him, first on the east coast and later, after his move, in Germany. I’m so sorry now that it was never possible. His legacy is vast, and he will never be forgotten by anyone who ever spent time in his company. Rest well, old friend.

Mary Katherine Aldin, United States

My prayers to John’s family and relatives.

Bill Foster, United States

It has been my privilege to be John’s friend for 25 years. We first met at a summer NAMM Show in Chicago in 1983. I immediately sensed that John was someone special, an original, one of a kind creative, eccentric powerhouse. He was the quintessential host, story teller, salesman, master of creation and revelation. He had ideas and inventions dashing and darting around in his giant gentle mind like birthing stars in a far off galaxy. And he would readily share these luminous gifts with you using every ounce of that ever endearing John Pearse charisma and charm. I still have a cocktail napkin with a design for a speaker cabinet that John drew for me in a restaurant in Anaheim at the 1984 winter NAMM. I kept it because it was a great design and John just whipped it up like Picasso impersonating Frank Lloyd Wright at an architectural design convention. I never used the design, but about 10 or 12 years later, JBL did.

There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that John Pearse was an extraordinary individual: Musician, Designer, Inventor, Purveyor of Creative Ideas, Musical Instrument Collector Extraordinaire, Incomparable Story Teller. To me, he was like a brother who doubled as a best friend. In the 25 years I knew John, there was never a time I didn’t thoroughly enjoy seeing him or talking with him. Because not only was he a consummate conversationalist, he was a world class listener. He had this addictive laugh and a security blanket comforting way of offering friendly advice or timely encouragement.

John, you will be greatly missed! I’d like to think that right now you are trading jokes with Jim Rickard, and the two of you are feeding the fire of the spirit of the music that makes the world a better place.
Mike Panasuk, United States

For more years than I can count, I have admired the craft and the personality of John Pearse. His was a life devoted to a craft that was devoted to his music and creativity… His innovations within the

Son Lewis, United States

I was saddened to hear of John’s passing but know he’s in a better world where he can carry on what he has done for so long here on Earth. Those that knew him whether personally or through all of his positive musical contributions over so many years are much better for it. May the festivities continue for JP!

Mitch Holder, United States

Rest in peace my friend! I´ll never forget you!

Chris Kerker, Sweden