John started playing guitar aged just seven, inspired by saturday morning TV show Hee Haw:-

"I didn't know any musical genres. I was just in awe of the players"
John 5

His parents were supportive of his learning and permitted him to play in bars and clubs providing that he kept his grades up. Aged 18, John moved to California to pursue a career as a professional session guitarist. Following the move, John began working on various projects for producer Bob Marlette, including TV shows, commercials and film soundtracks. This in turn saw a major break playing with Lita Ford, as she appeared as support for KISS. John then met Ozzy Osbourne drummer Randy Castillo and formed Red Square Black. However, RSB was a short-lived project after John was selected from 2000 guitarists to tour with KD Lang.

In 1996, John narrowly missed out on an audition with Marilyn Manson following the departure of original guitarist Daisy Berkowitz. He then teamed up with Rob Halford (Judas Priest) and formed industrial/classic rock band 2wo (Two).
John's next project came in 1998 when he collaborated with ex Van Halen front man David Lee Roth. John wrote six tracks and submitted them to Roth's manager. Familiar to the style Roth played, John used this to help write The DLR Band album in the space of two weeks.

In late 1998 John was contacted and invited to lunch by Marilyn Manson - "He asked me to join the band, right there" - and the name John 5 created for him immediately that day. The new moniker marked him as the second member after predecessor Zim Zum whose name was not comprised using a combination of female cultural icon and male serial killer. It is often agreed that the name John 5 reflects the importance that Mechanical Animals (written and recorded just prior to John joining the group) places on numerology, and because - rather obviously - he continued the group as a five-piece.
Among others, the number 15 is most significant to Mechanical Animals, and Marilyn Manson as an entity, so it seems befitting that when uttered vocally, 'John 5' sounds alike to the numbers 'one five'. Fans have occasionally suggested that the name is Biblical in origin, but most agree on Manson's numerical choice.

John was listed as "Live Guitarist" in the liner notes for Mechanical Animals, and a still from his audition video, listed as being taken by Manson, was used as his listed photo credit in the booklet. He would play on the Rock Is Dead international tour for the record, and featured extensively on the God Is In The TV tour VHS, which also included Manson's music videos from 1994 - 1999, four of which John had featured in by this time; The Dope Show, I Don't Like The Drugs (But The Drugs Like Me), Rock Is Dead and Coma White. In the latter he would notably take on the role of a security guard at the side of an assassinated President (Manson), based around JFK. John would later been seen in a similar guise on custom tarot card 'The Fool', which made up part of the thematic for the following Marilyn Manson record, Holy Wood (In The Shadow Of The Valley Of Death).

Though Holy Wood was his first full length writing credit with the band, he more than proved his ability to seamlessly recreate and even slightly update the Manson sound for the Rock Is Dead tour, adding a notable arena presence, as was befittting to the vastness and Celebritarian concepts behind Mechanical Animals. Additionally, he proved adept in the studio prior to Holy Wood on the series of B-Sides and covers that would accompany both the bonus disc to live album The Last Tour On Earth, and the Disposable Teens two CD single set.

During this time, John also continued work as session guitarist on several albums, including the Jimi Hendrix Tribute album Hazy Days, and reuniting with Dave Lee Roth for the track Thug Pop.

In 2003, John released his first custom guitar, the John Lowery Signature Fender Telecaster. Guitarist Magazine called it "the sexiest new signature guitar on the market". 2003 also saw the release of Marilyn Manson's The Golden Age of Grotesque, which was John's secnd full length contribution, and one that had included Manson directing him to play the guitar like he would a naked woman, and including several experiments in the studio, which manifest most evidently on the tracks Spade and Para-Noir.

In 2004, John 5 and Marilyn Manson parted company amicably after what was perceived as a turbulent tour for The Golden Age Of Grotesque. Work started in earnest on Vertigo, a deeply autobiographical solo (instrumental) album. John also formed a new "radio rock project"; Loser, comprising the vocal talents of Joe Grah, formerly of Texas band Jibe. Added to that, John played for cult rock artist and movie director Rob Zombie, on the 2005 Ozzfest tour - "I never thought I would have the chance to share the stage with him playing the Zombie songs we all know and love"

In 2005 John releasied Songs For Sanity, a second solo album, grittier than the first. Guests included Steve Vai and Albert Lee. Work with Rob Zombie continued and John worked on eight out of eleven tracks on 2006's Educated Horses. At this stage he decided against continuing Loser, and continued under Zombie's wing. Contributions were also made to records by Meatloaf, Paul Stanley and FeFe Dobson that year. Two solo albums have been released since; The Devil Knows My Name and Requiem, then in 2008, a remix album with artwork based on Jimi Hendrix's Electric Ladyland entited Remixploitation.

In 2009, work commenced on the fourth Rob Zombie solo album, Hellbilly Deluxe 2 - Noble Jackals, Penny Dreadfuls and the Systematic Dehumanization of Cool, on which John was the lead guitarist. To the present, he is still a current, full-time member of Zombie's band.


Expanded sections of this biography appear on (the official John 5 website). Content used with permission.


Born. John William Lowery
Birth Date. 31.07.1971
Birth Place. Grosse Point, Michigan [USA]



Position. Studio Guitarist Live Guitarist
Instruments. Lead Guitar



John 5 [Solo] Rob Zombie 2wo David Lee Roth K.D. Lang