John Wilkinson, Guitarist With Elvis’s TCB Band Dead at Sixty Seven
Over the years I’ve met up with Glen Hardin and Ronnie Tutt of the TCB band, but never had occasion to meet John I’m sad to say. It’s always tough when we loose somebody in rock n roll, especially someone as talented as John Wilkinson.
John Wilkinson, a guitar player who accompanied Elvis Presley for more than a thousand shows as a member of the TCB Band, died on Friday at the age of 67 after a long battle with cancer, the Associated Press reports.
Wilkinson grew up in Springfield, Missouri, watching Presley perform on television. In 1955, when he was ten years old, Wilkinson snuck into the star’s dressing room before a concert at Springfield’s Shrine Mosque and berated the King for his musicianship. “You can’t play guitar worth a damn,” the boy said.
Some 13 years after that first meeting in the dressing room, Presley asked Wilkinson to join his backup group, the TCB Band, after seeing the 23-year-old play on television. Over the next nine years, Wilkinson played rhythm guitar for Presley in 1,200 shows, remaining in the TBC Band until the singer’s death in 1977.