Before working for Polygram and BMG John was employed thus:
- August 1982 – September 1983
T.O.L. Distribution Limited; Position: Sales and Marketing Director
- August 1979 – August 1982
Conifer Records Limited; Position: London/National Accounts Sales Executive
- October 1978 – August 1979
Wren Electronics Limited: Position: Sales Manager of ‘shop in shop’ HiFi department in Owen Owen in Liverpool.
- March 1977 – September 1978
Continental Record Distributors Limited; Position: Senior Sales Representative
- June 1976 – March 1977
Owen Owen Limited, Liverpool Position: Sales Manager/Buyer Record Department
John trained as a Primary School Teacher at University of Lancaster School of Education at Edge Hill, Ormskirk, but decided that at the age of 21, the music industry was of more interest.