John Graham McVie was born on 26 November 1945 in Ealing, West London.
As a young boy, he learned to play trumpet. He started playing guitar at age fourteen, but switched to bass guitar when he realized most of his friends wanted to play lead.
John joined John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers in 1963 at age 17. For a while, he tried to hold down a full-time day job while gigging with the Bluesbreakers at night. After nine months, he became a full-time musician. He was the band’s bassist for four and one-half years, being fired and re-hired several times. One of his temporary replacements was Jack Bruce (Graham Bond Organisation, Cream). John was the bassist in the Bluesbreakers for most of Eric Clapton’s tenure with the band. They both can be heard on the album John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton.
In 1967 he left the Bluesbreakers for good. He eventually signed on with Fleetwood Mac* along with Peter Green and Mick Fleetwood, two other Bluesbreakers “graduates”.
Fleetwood Mac was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.
* While McVie, Peter Green and Mick Fleetwood were in the Bluesbreakers together, John Mayall gave Peter a birthday present — a few hours of studio time. During that session, he recorded an instrumental song, called Fleetwood Mac. He named the song that way because Mick Fleetwood and John McVie were playing with him on that song and he couldn’t think of another title. When Peter Green formed his own band, he decided to call it “Fleetwood Mac”, after the song he had recorded