Drummer John Guerin dies at 64

Associated Press
January 11, 2004

LOS ANGELES - John Guerin, a drummer who helped found the L.A. Express and contributed to an innovative Joni Mitchell recording, has died. He was 64.

Guerin, who had a broad resume in both jazz and pop, died Monday of heart failure at West Hills Hospital in West Hills.

Guerin's career as a performer, producer and arranger spanned 40 years. Besides Mitchell, he worked with Thelonious Monk, Ella Fitzgerald, Roger Kellaway, Frank Sinatra, Frank Zappa, the Byrds, Lou Rawls and Linda Ronstadt.

In 1975, Guerin helped found the L.A. Express, a jazz fusion band made up of four studio musicians. Led by saxophonist Tom Scott, the topflight roster included guitarist Robben Ford and bassist Max Bennett.

After hearing them play, Mitchell invited the musicians into the recording studio when she was recording her "Court and Spark" album. The band later went on tour with her as the opening act.

Guerin also collaborated with Mitchell on the title track of her album "The Hissing of Summer Lawns."

Guerin was born in Hawaii but grew up in the San Diego area.

He is survived by his wife, a son, two siblings and two grandchildren. Another son died last summer.

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