Coco Montoya, guitarist
Drummer ~ Guitarist
John Mayall's Bluesbreakers
birth name: Henry Montoya

Coco Montoya

October 2, 1951, Santa Monica, CA

He was raised by his working class parents on the west side of Los Angeles and took an early interest in music. Although he used to enjoy picking out notes on a guitar, Montoya’s main instrument while growing up was drums, playing in rock n’ roll bands. “Then one day I went to a concert featuring Creedence Clearwater and Iron Butterfly. Albert King played between the two groups and I had never heard of him. Boy, after he got done playing, that changed everything. That revolutionized my whole life and showed me what music and guitar playing really were about.” ~ Coco Montoya ~ retrieved September 23, 2013 © Records

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October 2, 1971 ~ Billboard Hot 100 ~ #3 (4) Joan Baez, The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down ~ #2 (1) Donny Osmonds, Go Away Little Girl ~ #1 (2) Rod Stewart, Maggie May/Reason To Believe


Although he had recently been turned on to blues at an Albert King show, he was somewhat unprepared to sit in with another blues legend - ‘the Iceman’ Albert Collins - when a bar-owner friend of Montoya invited the bluesman to play at his nightclub. Though his inexperience showed, the young drummer impressed Collins enough to hire him for a Pacific Northwest tour three months later. The tour soon ended, but the pair's affiliation remained for more than five years, while Montoya learned much about the handling of blues guitar from ‘the Master of the Telecaster.’ By the early '80s, Coco Montoya was back in the small-time nightclub business, playing guitar with several regional bands. At one night's show, he realized that John Mayall was in the audience, so he dedicated a cover of ‘All Your Love’ to the British blues maestro. The song prompted Mayall to hire Montoya as lead guitarist for a new version of the Bluesbreakers he had formed. Despite the enormous pressure of filling a spot once held by Eric Clapton and Peter Green, Montoya jumped at the opportunity. ~ Allmusic: Coco Montoya ~ retrieved September 23, 2013 © Allmusic

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