Gypie Mayo, Guitarist for Dr. Feelgood and The Yardbirds, Dead at 62

Gypie Mayo, best known as the guitarist for Dr. Feelgood in the late '70s, died this morning. He was 62.

Mayo replaced Wilko Johnson in Dr. Feelgood in 1977 and remained with the band until 1981. His guitar work — and several of his compositions — can be heard on six Dr. Feelgood albums, including Be Seeing You (1977) and Private Practice (1978).

Mayo co-wrote the band's only UK Top 10 single, "Milk and Alcohol," with Nick Lowe and was the sole composer of "Hi-Rise," the B-side of "She's a Windup," a single that saw moderate success in the UK in late 1977.

Mayo joined the restructured Yardbirds in 1996, ably filling the shoes of three legendary former Yardbirds guitarists, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page. He appeared on the band's latest studio album, 2003's Birdland, and remained with the band until 2004.

Mayo was born John Phillip Cawthra on July 24, 1951, in London. He originally used the stage name John Mayo until, after having suffered several ailments, Dr. Feelgood's Lee Brilleaux said, "You've always got the gyp" — and the new name stuck. Starting in the late '60s, he played with White Mule and several local acts until connecting with Dr. Feelgood.

No cause of death has been given.

Photo: Cindy Moorhead

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Damian Fanelli
Editor-in-Chief, Guitar World

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas, was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron, a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums. He now plays in two NYC-area bands.