John Bindon (October 4, 1943 - October 10, 1993) was a British actor and bodyguard, noted for his film roles as a London underworld figure and tough police detective.
Bindon was born in London, England and was the son of a merchant seaman. Bindon went to school in Fulham where he became a noted rugby union junior, but left at the age of 15. As a teenager, he spent some weeks in juvenile detention on various charges. In 1966, Bindon decided to pursue acting. He approached director Ken Loach who considered him perfect for the role of a rough husband in the film, Poor Cow, released in 1967. His next big break came with a role in Performance alongside Mick Jagger, where he played the role of a violent mobster. His portrayal earned him critical praise and typecast him for future roles. In 1968, he was awarded a police bravery medal for diving off Putney Bridge into the River Thames to rescuing a drowning man.
Bindon's best known film role was his appearance in The Who's film Quadrophenia where he played a drug dealer. He also appeared in the television series Softly Softly playing out his usual tough guy role, and once again in the cult classic Get Carter in 1971. Despite a productive film and television career, Bindon went into organising security. It was to be a move which would have disastrous personal consequences.
In 1977, Bindon was hired by tour manager Richard Cole to act as security co-ordinator for Led Zeppelin. Bindon had previously provided security for actors Ryan and Tatum O'Neal. Bindon took his job to the extreme and during the tour much violence occurred behind the scenes, directed mostly at journalists and concert staff. The band did not realise the extent of what was happening until their concert at the Oakland Coliseum on July 23, 1977, when an off-stage incident involving Bill Graham's security man Jim Matzorkis, resulted in charges against Peter Grant, Richard Cole, John Bonham, and John Bindon. All four were found guilty and given suspended sentences. Bindon was dismissed by the band and returned to England. Peter Grant later stated that allowing Bindon to be hired was the biggest mistake he ever made as manager.
In 1978, Bindon became involved in a fight with John Darke, at the Ranelagh Yacht Club, in Fulham, London. Darke was stabbed nine times and Bindon managed to flee to Dublin with his own knife wounds covered up. He gave himself up to police and in the subsequent trial at the Old Bailey in November, 1979 was acquitted of Darke's murder, thanks mainly to Bob Hoskins who testified as a character witness. The trial along with the Oakland incident seriously damaged Bindon's reputation (there were many other various allegations of a similar violent nature against Bindon) and he never worked in the entertainment industry again. During the 1980s, Bindon became a virtual recluse and heroin addict. He died in London at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, from complications as a result of AIDS on October 10, 1993.
On the inside sleeve of the LP Maladjusted the singer Morrissey has had printed "John Bindon 1943 - 1993".
June 2005 saw the publication of a biography "Bindon: Fighter, Gangster, Actor, Lover - the True Story of John Bindon, a Modern Legend" by Wensley Clarkson (ISBN 1844541169).