A Rockapaedia Obituary
Bands: Dr.Feelgood, Yardbirds,
Gypsy Mayo died aged sixty-two from Cancer on 23rd October 2013.
Gypie Mayo was born John Phillip Cawthra in Hammersmith, London, United Kingdom on 24th July 1951 and was a guitarist and songwriter, playing in Dr. Feelgood from 1977 to 1981, and from 1996 to 2004 in the reborn Yardbirds with Alan Glen. At an early age, he had listened to the classical music his father played while at home. Later, he heard "Apache" by The Shadows and enjoyed the record. However, it was when Gypsy Mayo saw the group on television with their Fender Stratocasters that he became passionate.
After being expelled from school, John Phillip Cawthra began using the performing name of Gypsy Mayo and worked in a printing shop before joining the blues band White Mule in 1969. The band stayed together for about a year and played all over the United Kingdom, along with gigs in Switzerland and France. They released a single on MCA Records which was produced by Mike Leander. After White Mule, Gypsy Mayo played in various rock line-ups during the early to mid-1970s including Halcyon, 747 and Alias. He also was part of an Irish traditional band called Concrete Mick where he played the mandolin before becoming Wilko Johnson's replacement in Dr Feelgood.
Gypsy Mayo had been relatively unknown until early 1977 when he replaced Wilko Johnson in Dr. Feelgood, although Henry McCullough had temporarily stood in when Johnson left. He was known as John Mayo until, having suffered several minor ailments, Dr. Feelgood's Lee Brilleaux said "you've always got the gyp" and the nickname stuck.
Gypsy Mayo played with Dr. Feelgood for four years and on six albums (Be Seeing You, Private Practice, As It Happens, Let It Roll, A Case of the Shakes and On The Job). He co-wrote the Feelgood's only UK Top 10 single "Milk and Alcohol" with Nick Lowe, and played on four of the five other Dr. Feelgood singles to have appeared in the UK Singles Chart ("She's A Wind Up", "Down at the Doctors", "As Long As The Price is Right" and "Put Him Out of Your Mind"). Gypsy Mayo's guitar work was featured on the Yardbirds' 2003 album, Birdland.
Gypsy Mayo lived in Bath, Somerset, where he played in several bands, taught guitar, and made guest appearances on albums including Pete Gage's Tough Talk.