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John Locke 8/2006

August 4, 2006 – John Locke (Spirit, Nazareth) was born on September 25, 1943 in Los Angeles, California. His father was a classical violinist and his mother sang operas and was a composer. In 1967 he formed the Red Roosters with guitarist Randy California. Later that year they had changed the name to Spirit Rebellious and signed a record deal for four albums under the jazz/hard rock/progressive rock/psychedelic band Spirit name.

The group’s first album, Spirit, was released in 1968 and “Mechanical World” was released as a single. John appeared on their next eight albums and remained involved with the band during most of his career.

When Randy California went solo, band members Jay Ferguson and Mark Andes formed Jo Jo Gunne, while Ed Cassidy and John briefly led a new Spirit, recording the album Feedback in 1972 with Al and Chris Staehely.

California subsequently took on the Spirit mantle, in partnership with Cassidy, and Locke contributed to the album Farther Along in 1976.

Between 1980 and late ’82, John played keyboards for the Scottish rock band Nazareth appearing on albums The Fool Circle-1981, Snaz-1981, and 2XS-1983.

In December 1982, the original Spirit line-up reformed and recorded several songs from their first four albums, and a few new tracks, released 2 years later as as Spirit of ’84.

John re-joined the band in 1988, they recorded the album Rapture in the Chambers. The band self-released Tent Of Miracles in 1990 and set off on almost continually working for the next six years. Spirit split with the drowning death of Randy California in 1997.

Besides Spirit, he performed on the Tom Rush album Wrong End of the Rainbow. He also played keyboards on the Stray Cats album Gonna Ball, and on the Randy California’s solo albums Euro-American and Restless.

John Locke went on to live a quieter life in Ojai, a small town in California, where he ran a recording studio

He died on August 4, 2006 (some sources give the date as Aug 9th) from complications due to lymphoma. He was 62.

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