George Benson

BIOGRAPHY – Graham Leslie Coxon

Graham Leslie Coxon was born in Rinteln, Germany on March 12, 1969. His father was an army bandsman and the family lived in Germany for five years, before returning to the UK to live in Derbyshire with his grandfather.

The family relocated to Colchester Essex when Graham Coxon was around 8 years old. He became interested in music when attending Stanway Comprehensive School and taught himself to play the saxophone and the guitar influenced by two tones and the Jam.

Graham Coxon met Damon Albarn at school discovering a mutual interest in music and fashion. After that the two became friends. Graduating school, Graham Coxon went to Goldsmiths College to study fine art and met Alex James also studying art.

Damon Albarn was also living in London, playing in a band called Circus along with fellow Colchester boy Dave Rowntree on drums. When two band members left Graham Coxon was asked to step in on guitar, and he bought in Alex James on bass.

The band renamed as Seymour, and first performed for the public 1989. Shortly after, they were spotted by Andy Ross of Food records who signed them and persuaded them to change the band name. They chose Blur from a list of names offered by Ross and the rest is history.

The Britpop scene and Blur’s success was firmly established throughout the mid nineties with multi- selling albums and singles and a well publicized feud with Manchester band Oasis.

However, Graham Coxon was becoming disillusioned and eventually left the band in 2002 suffering with alcohol related problems. Blur have since reunited in 2009, meeting up to play occasional festival gigs.

Graham Coxon worked on solo projects throughout his career with Blur. He released seven solo albums between 1998 and 2009, winning an NME award in 2005 for best solo artist following his fifth album “Happiness in Magazines” released in 2005. The most recent “The Spinning Top” released n 2009 was well received by critics.

Graham Coxon is a multi-talented artist he has designed all his own album sleeves and done art work for other performers. He plays guitar, bass, drums and percussion, clarinet, saxophone and piano as well as singing. He sang lead vocals on a couple of Blur hits including “Coffee and TV” and plays a variety of instruments on his solo albums.

Graham Coxon is an inventive lead guitarist and was voted the 15th greatest guitarist of the last 30 years in a national 2010 BBC poll, Noel Gallagher calling him “one of the most gifted guitarists of his generation”.

Graham Coxon is famed for playing Fender Telecasters but also plays Gibson SGs, a Fender Mustang and a British classic, Burns London Sonic.?