The World’s First John McLaughlin Interview (probably): March 1963

Colin H on John McLaughlin

Back in February Christopher Hjort very kindly got in touch with me, as a John McLaughlin biographer, to share a photo of something remarkable that he had stumbled upon while doing research on unrelated matters at the British Library.

There, in the Wandsworth Advertiser edition of 22 March 1963, writer uncredited, was what is almost certainly the world’s first interview with John McLaughlin – along with what are (outside of a few in Georgie Fame’s own collection, uncirculated) the only known photos of John during his time with the Blues Flames. The full text of that piece appears below, but first some scene-setting…

Photos of McLaughlin in the 50s/60s are incredibly rare. There is one publicity shot with Big Pete Deuchar’s Professors of Ragtime (circa 1958/59), reproduced in Walter Kolosky’s ‘Power, Passion and Beauty: The Story of the Legendary Mahavishnu Orchestra’ (; there is a stunning set of live shots with the Graham Bond Quartet from his April-September 1963 tenure with them, taken by future psychedelic scenester John Hopkins (but sadly priced out of the market for license at the time I wrote ‘Bathed In Lightning: John McLaughlin, the 60s and the Emerald Beyond’, » Continue Reading.

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