The Jazz Butcher
The Jazz Butcher Conspirators Curtis E. Johnson
Curtis E. Johnson


E-Man (Wilson)

Role: Guitar, Air-FX, Voice, Programming


Theremin-Like Machine, Percussion, Hungarian Stockwhip, Music, Words, Crime Rap, Backing Vocal, Producer, Recorded


Other Projects
Wilson Stranger Tractors

Pat Says

The Butcher Says..
I first met Curtis when I was called upon to help out in the studio with a Northampton band called The Venus Fly Trap. He had always led his own groups around Northampton, so it surprised me a little that he should have joined somebody else's band. The aura of mutual suspicion when we first met in some damp basement rehearsal space lasted for all of three minutes, and the friendship that followed has lasted a good ten years and counting.

Curtis became involved with the JBC via a series of happy mishaps. Curt was a tower of support for me over the difficult days in 1991. Just as things were turning nasty for him, we found ourselves in possession of an extra air ticket for a Spanish tour, so Curt came too, ostensibly as "guitar tech", but effectively as vibemeister, bald-headed rapper and instigator of the "Ola Que?" Incident. In early 1994 Curtis joined a JBC European tour as Emergency Lead Guitarist. I taught him the tunes on the boat over, with a little extra coaching in a front room in Breda. By Dortmund he had gone critical. Nobody got to go home until the spaceships came. In Rotterdam he turned into Eddie Van Halen right before our eyes.

Having spent much of the eighties experimenting with the squawky computers of the day, loud electric guitar noises and elaborate op-art lightshows, Curtis decided in the early nineties that he should go acoustic. He had a clutch of songs that were a more than convincing argument in his support. And so, along with Russell Cooper and Matt Tractor he began Stranger Tractors. By the end of 1994 I had joined them on primitive stand- up drums. 1995 saw the Tractors playing all over the UK and making a disturbing number of startlingly inappropriate TV appearances. Alan McGee at Creation helped to finance a single, Vibration , and there also exists a compilation of material from the time, including tunes produced by David J., who used to turn up at Tractors shows and act like a proper hooligan.

As 1996 began the Tractors were threatening to "go electric", a pretty terrifying prospect, and one that didn't have much to do with Curt's initial conception of what the group should be. Curtis took to playing solo acoustic shows, teaming up with Martin Stephenson (as in "and The Daintees"), which is how he got to meet a couple of influential people and start himself a proper solo career.

Curtis has a smashing album called The Bean King out now. You can order a copy, and find out all the details, by visiting: Stranger Tractors



Years Active
Active: 1994, 1999, 2001-2003 (click to explore)