When John played guitar, he was a rock and blues star - tributes after the death of one of Norfolk’s greats John Miles Langham
PUBLISHED: 16:05 22 May 2017 | UPDATED: 16:05 22 May 2017
He has been described as one of the “Norfolk greats” – and when he played the guitar whose listening often asked themselves: “How does he do that?”
Family and friends, many of them musicians, gathered at St Faith’s Crematorium, to pay tribute to John Miles Langham who has died at his home in Hindolveston, aged 64.
A talented guitarist, singer and song-writer, he played with a number of rock, blues and soul bands over the years and from 2001 to 2009 with the popular duo The Rockin’ Johnnies with John Dunn.
John was born in 1953 at Hill House, Frettenham where his father ran an electrical engineering business from a forge and his mother was a dress-maker.
He went to school at Frettenham, Thorpe and Sprowston and Wymondham College where he once played his guitar an inter-house music competition...the audience went wild and several teachers walked out!
For a while he lived at a house in Telegraph lane, Norwich, a hotbed of 1960s creativity, and played with the group Earthworks at venues such as the Orford Cellar before joining the legendary rockers Memphis Index and playing across the country.
Returning to Norfolk bands he was part of included Snacks, The After Burners, The Dalling Brothers, The Four Stanleys, The John Selby Band, The Meals, Retreads, Lucas & The Soul Bands, The Rockin Jonnies.
The Four Stanleys reformed for the Anglia for Africa in Earlham Park in 1985.
In 2001 he teamed up with his school friend John Dunn in The Rockin’ Johnnies and they played more than 500 gigs across Norfolk and the region.
John, whom played at the funeral service, said: “It was an extraordinary privilege to have played with John whose guitar playing was never less than excellent and at times awe-inspiring.
“It’s a great shame that through a combination of fashion, circumstance and his own temperament he never achieved the national prominence he deserved. He was also a fine singer and an underrated song-writer,” he added.
Kingsley Harris of the East Anglian Music Archive said: “He was, in my opinion, one of the Norfolk greats. Spent many a night watching him.”
John is survived by sisters Fiona and Martha-Jane, nephew Tom and niece Jenny,