A Rockapaedia Obituary

Mark St.John

Bands: Kiss, White Tiger,

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    Mark St.John died aged fifty-one suddenly on 5th April 2007 under photo of Mark St.Johnsuspicious circumstances just several months after being badly beaten during a short stay in Orange County jail, California, Unied States of America. Mark died , due to what the coroner described as a brain hemorrhage brought on by an accidental overdose of methamphetamines. His girlfriend was with him the night before he died and she has been adamant that he wasn't taking drugs, refuting the coroner's official ruling. She is convinced the bleeding was caused by his assault at the jail several months earlier.
    Friends claimed that Mark St.John was never the same after the beating and would not discuss his brief time at Theo Lacy Jail. Another friend stated that Mark St.John fell deep into depression and drug addiction after being released, selling all his outfits, and mowing lawns and doing roofing to afford a drug habit that spiraled out of control.
    Mark's girlfriend, who said he was unrecognizable after the vicious beating, believed the incident was directly responsible for his untimely death several months later. A couple of days before the beating, Mark St.John told her that he had "snitched" on a drug dealer several years earlier, and he believed he was certain to be attacked if this became known by the other inmates.
    For the next several months after leaving Theo Lacy Jail, Mark St.John suffered severe headaches and body aches and many times told his girlfriend that the chronic ailments were absolutely the result of the beating at Theo Lacy. While it's not known what medical attention he received inside the jail, after his release he refused to see a doctor due to having no medical insurance, and thus his health deteriorated.
    Before joining Kiss, Mark St.John was a well-known and respected teacher and guitarist for the Southern California cover band Front Page. After leaving Kiss, he formed a band called White Tiger, featuring David Donato (lead vocals), his brother Michael Norton (bass/backing vocals), and Brian James Fox (drums).
    Mark St.John was with Kiss only a short time; but he was featured on the album 'Animalize', the second album of the non-makeup period. This turned out to be one of Kiss' most successful studio albums, aside from those made by the original lineup. Mark St.John's only video appearance with Kiss is in the video for the hit single "Heaven's on Fire". During the sessions for the album, which was recorded in mid-1984, Mark St.John clashed with the other members of the band and according to Paul Stanley, they had difficulty putting together solos, with Mark St.John had trouble playing the same thing twice. Stanley also said that he himself had to dub in certain parts during Mark St.John's solos to make them work better with the song.
    Mark St.John developed reactive arthritis, which caused his hands and arms to swell. He was all but unable to perform live as a member of Kiss, and played only two full shows and one partial show during the Animalize tour, with Bruce Kulick playing the rest. Mark St.John was officially replaced by Bruce Kulick on 8th December, 1984. Mark was also the only Kiss member not to appear on any album front cover, since the Animalize cover features only a tapestry of animal prints. However, he is posing with the rest of the band on the album's back cover.
    In January 1985 Mark St.John teamed up with vocalist David Donato and drummer Barry Brandt of Angel to work on developing some demo ideas and
he and Donato soon formed White Tiger. They had written most of the material for the album by mid-1985 and set out to complete a lineup with which to image of Mark St.Johnrecord. The band also included Mark St.John's younger brother, Michael, on bass, but was completed with the addition of Brian James Fox on drums. While the independent release did well on that level selling some 50,000 copies, and the band gigged around California, Mark St.John and his band White Tiger joined up with Garry Lane owner of Logic Productions who promoted many top bands in LA. Mark St.John and Lane became good friends meeting for a second time at Trojan Studios in Garden Grove, California. That is where Mark St.John and Lane came up with the idea to play the legendary club known as THE HOT SPOT located in Huntington Beach, California owned by Gennie Gromet who was the ex-wife of Dick Dale from the band Dick Dale and the Del-Tones. The band didn't manage to work and split while working on demos for a second album in 1988.     Mark St.John teamed up with Jeff Scott Soto in 1988 to make another demo and also did some session work performing lead guitar on "Livin' for My Lord" on Ken Tamplin's 1990 album, Axe to Grind. Ken Tamplin is an inspirational Christian rocker more famed for his involvement in the band Shout and has also co-written material with Gene Simmons of Kiss.
    In later years, Mark St.John did not make many public appearances.

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music: KISS "Animalize" Full Album