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First published in September 2010, last updated March 2014

(Editor's note - sadly, John passed away on 2nd March 2014)


Johnny Croot played with Mike Reilly in "Mike and the Beavers" and later on "The Big Four" back in the 60's. Johnny emailed me about a year ago wanting to touch base again with Mike so I managed that through Jocelyn Aydon. Nice to get those old connections back together. Mike and I are half way through recording an album at the moment. Some things you just never give up.   Our thoughts go out to the family and friends - Mike Reilly, Jocelyn Aydon, Gail & Bruce Todd
Please pass on my condolences to the family .. very sad - Suzanne Lynch
John was a lead guitarist and vocalist of "The Big Four" In Wellington in the mid 60's. He played in a few other popular bands of the era along with his long time friends Dave Duffel and Richard Nicholson.  He was also a good songwriter and had a great strong voice as well as being a real nice guy.  He had lived and worked in Auckland these past few years and had just moved back to his hometown of Levin. - Jim Pilcher
(click here to email me your tribute to John and I'll add it in -


I was a member of a couple of bands in the 60's 70's.  We were mentioned in the 'Rock got Rollin' book, and played number two to Fourmyula, Simple Image, etc, and worked for 'Universal Booking Agency' (Tom McDonald) at that time. 

We were 'Mike and the Beavers' (Mike Reilly, John Croot, Richie Nicolson, Dave Duffel) - 1963-64, then 'The Big Four' - 1969-1971 (John Croot [lead guitar/vocals], Dave Duffel [drums/vocals], Richie Nicolson [bass/vocals], Graham Bishop [keyboards/Hammond].  

We were quite prolific performers in the Beavers and sometimes played in clubs and nightclubs up to 5 nights a week.  Played 'The Hideaway', Sheridon, Downtown Club (with Quincy Conserve) on the late show.  We were in the 'Battle of the Bands' and youth clubs regularly.  Backed and played with some top artists also during that time. 

We got together in 1996 for the 'Battle of the Bands' reunion, in the Lower Hutt Town Hall, with Ray Columbus, Suzanne, Fourmyula, Librettos, Tom Thumb, Dedikation, plus others. 


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