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James Valentine (born James Burgon Valentine, October 5, 1978, Lincoln, Nebraskamarker) is an Americanmarker musician. He is best known as the guitarist for the pop rock group Maroon 5.

Early life

Valentine was raised as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) and has three sisters and one brother. His mother is a former beauty queen, who was a school teacher before becoming a stay-at-home Mom to raise her five kids. James is an Eagle Scout. He was the president of his high school student council in Lincoln, Nebraska


Valentine played in Lincocln bands Kid Quarkstar, Mondello,and Happy Dog. In 2000, Happy Dog changed its name to Square and he moved to Los Angeles, Californiamarker from Anaheim, Californiamarker where he taught private guitar lessons out of his home. Valentine had also played with Reel Big Fish, firstly when guitarist Aaron Barrett broke his hand, and then later in 2001 when Barrett fell down some stairs. Valentine displayed a picture from one Reel Big Fish show he played during Maroon 5's appearance on MTV Cribs. Eventually the members of Square and Kara's Flowers became friends and when Kara's Flowers began looking for another guitarist, Valentine was approached. Personal tensions in Square helped the decision, and shortly afterward, Kara's Flowers became Maroon 5.

Valentine is a friend of John Mayer, whom he met in 1996 at Berkleemarker in Bostonmarker, Massachusettsmarker. Valentine once tried to get Mayer to move to Lincoln to play guitar for the Lincoln blues rock band Baby Jason and the Spankers. An opening slot on Mayer's 2003 summer tour helped bring widespread exposure to Maroon 5. Valentine contributed guitar work to Mayer's September 2006 release Continuum on the songs "Stop This Train" and "In Repair."

Valentine has played guitar on Jenny Lewis's solo album, Rabbit Fur Coat, and has appeared in her music video for "Rise Up with Fists!!"

Personal life

His family now lives in Utahmarker, and both parents work for Brigham Young Universitymarker, which is owned and operated by the LDS Church. Valentine does not consider himself to be an active Mormon.


  1. Hoard, Christian 2004-06-10, "A Whiter Shade of Funk". Rolling Stone (950):

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