Sir Lord Baltimore’s John Garner dies

Sir Lord Baltimore singer and drummer John Garner has died.

Website Whiplash reports that the metal pioneer passed away from from liver failure after spending several days in a coma.

Widely credited with inventing the stoner rock genre, he formed the band in 1968 with guitarist Louis Dambra and bassist Gary Justin.

They recorded Kingdom Come in 1970 and followed it in 1971 with their self-titled sequel. They split in 1976 and Garner resurrected the group for 2006’s Sir Lord Baltimore III Raw.

Reflecting on the band’s lack of commercial success in their early days in 2008, Garner said that people weren’t ready for their style of playing in the late 60s.

He told House Of Rock: “We were too quick, too fast, furious, whatever you want to call it. People were listening to more slow, plodding sounds like Sabbath and Grand Funk.

“Most people could relate to them because of how slow they played, and how really easy it is to do their riffs. We were going a mile a minute. I believe there are a lot of bands out there who could squeeze about four or five albums out of our first album as far as riff content went.”

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent more than 30 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. After initially joining our news desk in the summer of 2014, he moved to the e-commerce team full-time in 2020. He maintains Louder’s buyer’s guides, scouts out the best deals for music fans and reviews headphones, speakers, books and more. He's written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog and has previous written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky. Scott grew up listening to rock and prog, cutting his teeth on bands such as Marillion and Magnum before his focus shifted to alternative and post-punk in the late 80s. His favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Ned's Atomic Dustbin and Drab Majesty, but he also still has a deep love of Rush.