Born 20th August 1940 in Newbury Berkshire, his parents Nora and John Lantree moved first to Hayes where his younger sister Ann was born, attending Mellow Lane Technical School (Mellow Lane School) and then later to Highams Park where John and Ann went to Sydney Burnell Secondary Modern, making friends with Martin Murray.
John had no formal musical training but Martin's enthusiasm may have rubbed off on him and he began by coming to gigs with Martin's previous band and sitting in on bongos at every available opportunity. Then Martin bought his first Burns guitar, and John was so impressed he asked if there was a bass guitar version. There was and he bought one and asked Martin to teach him to play. John set about learning the bass, and within six months of buying the guitar he was on Top Of The Pops with a number one single.
John remained in the band until The New Honeycombs split in 1967 and apart from the reunion for the Future Legend records there seems to be very little information around.