John Sykes started his career in 1980 with the “New Wave of British Heavy Metal” band, The Tygers of Pan Tang. After two years of albums and tours with the Tygers, John left the band and ended up with the influential classic rock band, Thin Lizzy.
John joined Thin Lizzy in 1982 and performed on the album,” Thunder & Lightning” as well as the “Live Life” album and a live album recorded by the BBC of the band’s last show at the Reading festival in 1983. After this “farewell” tour, John joined Phil Lynott for Phil’s solo tour of Europe in a band dubbed, The Three Musketeers.
John was then invited to join the band Whitesnake and he appeared on the U.S. release of the “Slide It In” album. The band toured constantly in support of the album and ended the tour in front of 500,000 people at “Rock in Rio” in 1985. The show was also broadcast to millions of people on television throughout South America.
Whitesnake’s next album was the self-titled 1987 release, which featured Sykes’ guitar playing as well as his diverse song-writing talents. The album went on to sell approximately 20 million copies world-wide and songs Sykes co-wrote such as “Still of the Night” and “Is This Love” are still staples on rock radio today.
After leaving Whitesnake John returned to England and formed the critically acclaimed band, Blue Murder. The band featured bassists Tony Franklin and drummer Carmine Appice. Their debut album not only showcased John’s fiery and melodic guitar playing but his excellent singing voice as well. The material ranges from epic rock songs like “ Valley of the Kings” to more pop-oriented songs like “Jelly Roll”.
Since 1997 John has been releasing material under the name Sykes. From 1995 until the summer of 2009 John and Scott Gorham toured successfully under the Thin Lizzy moniker.