Teaching Days: Monday
Richmond (whence the Rolling Stones also emerged!). He gradually started to play with the last of the rehearsal bands. He worked with Eddie Harvey's rehearsal band and people like the Scottish drummer, Tommy Cairns. John did a three-month season with the Cliff Bennett Soul Band in a hotel in the Bahamas, playing show music and jazz ballads and also played with Brotherhood of Breath and John Slaughter's Blues Band. As John's reputation grew, he worked with many well-known artists including The Temptations, Dusty Springfield, Bobby Vee, The Detroit Emeralds, Matt Monroe and JJ Jackson. He also recorded with some of Britain's top musicians. For example, he played on The Beatles recording of Let it Be, several albums with The Kinks, recordings by Alan Price and George Harrison.
It was during the early days with the rehearsal band that John Bennett got interested in writing. He started copying scores for bands and having harmony lessons. At about the age of 22, like Ronnie Scott before him, John spent a year working at Keith Prowse music publishers as a copyist. As the biggest company in London, dealing in records, instruments and sheet music, it served as a useful education. John studied with Graham Collier, who had just returned from studying jazz at Berkeley College, and began writing his own pieces. He wrote arrangements for big bands and Jack MacDuff recorded his soul compositions.