John Otway - review + watch videos

John Otway, Wild Willy Barrett

John Otway is a name most people might not be familiar with. In his own words, he is one of music's most successful losers. He's been playing since 1976, starting his career with Mr. Wild Willy Barrett on guitar. They first appeared on TV's "Old Grey Whistle Test" back in 1977-78 ish.

This video clip shows how random John's gigs were.

I was at that gig. It was at the Portsmouth Guildhall for a music film being made called "Urgh A Music War". I thought John looked like my girlfriend's dad at the time. This must have been 1979, and I was bitten by the Otway bug. I found his single "The Green Green Grass Of Home" in a local record shop. A Tom Jones cover. 'Much greener than Tom Jones' it said on the sleeve.

John had a love hate relationship with Wild Willy. You never knew whether you were gonna get John or John and Willy at gigs.

John is still playing live and has a very loyal and dedicated fan base. It's like I said - once you get it, you are addicted to this man's madness. He plays Oxford every May Day at six in the morning.

Back in 2002 he asked all his fans to choose a song for him to perform on Top Of The Pops, and then got everyone to buy it so that it would chart. The song was "Bunsen Burner". This was probably the best 50th birthday present anyone could have given John.

Watch "Bunsen Burner" video:

If you fancy a new addiction - you know, something different, go check out his website and you may find yourself starting a lifelong obsession with this chap!

John Otway on

John Otway Official Website

By: Dave Tommo

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About Dave Tommo

Oxford, England based Songwriter/Musician Dave Tommo contributes reviews and commentary to
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One Response to John Otway - review + watch videos

  1. Dave says:

    John Otway plays Newbury's Arlington Arts on 26th June 2009. Should be a great gig...

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