A Musical History of
Birthday: October 2nd, 1968
Residence: Minneapolis, MN
Eye color: Hazel Green
Hair color: Brown
Marital status: Never Married
Children: Amanda & Shawn
Favorite beverage: Roy Rogers (Coca-Cola & Grenadine):
Favorite food: Roasted Turkey and Rice
Favorite car: 1969 Dodge Charger R/T
Favorite sport: Bicycling, Volleyball, Frisbee
Favorite color: Magenta/Burgundy
Favorite book: “Off the Rails” by Rudy Sarzo, Star Wars series
Favorite film: “Star Wars - The Empire Strikes Back”, “Italian Job”, “Casino Royale”
Favorite actor: Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig
Favorite place: Los Angeles
What don’t you like? Liars, War, Violence and Politics
Hobbies: Sleeping in, bicycling around the lakes of Minneapolis, travelling
What motivates you? Music and people having fun at my shows
Johnee grew up listening to news/talk radio in the mornings and before school in the first 6 years of life.
Only thing musical he had at that point was a record player that when you put the top down, it would play children's songs.
"I used to pinch my fingers in that thing ALL THE TIME!"
Early 70's children's TV series,
To Be Continued...
Sigmund and the Sea Monsters became the starting ground to Johnee's passion for all things musical. He began to jot down lyrical ideas using the melody from the show's theme song.
Johnee started playing recorder @ Washington Elementary School in Anoka, MN, where he attended from 1974-1980.
A recommendation by a cousin, Johnee received his first REAL record in 1976.
KISS - DESTROYER
Johnee Recieved a red AM transistor radio for Christmas that same year and found so many other types of music. He started to listed to 63 KDWB (now 101.3 KDWB Minneapolis) in his closet "fort" where he melted away from reality. "I would wear the batteries out in a couple of day," Johnee says, laughing. ""I used to fall asleep listening to that thing. I'd wake up and there would be nothing but static on after the station went off the air at night. My Dad used to keep a healthy supply of 9-volt batteries on hand after a little while."
"I started to pay more attention to the radio and what was new at the time." He weened himself on listening to KISS, Eddie Rabbitt, ABBA, the Village People and K-Tel Record compilations at the time.
"I could never figure out how the singer in KISS (Paul Stanley) had so many different voices on these K-Tel records."
Little did he know, all the members of KISS sang on separate songs.
"I used to call KQRS radio and request 'Tiger' by ABBA like 10 times in a row," thinking they would play it for him if they got enough requests.
"I think I really pissed off the DJ!"
"I wanted to be a drummer at the time," he stated. "My Mom was a huge Elvis fan and for some odd reason, wanted me to be a drummer too. Funny thing about Elvis...I never got into his music. My Dad actually sat next to him having coffee in Germany when he served in the Army in the 50's just when Elvis was doing his first tour over there."
Johnee received his first drum kit, a cheap generic set (the kind with a wood block attached to the bass drum) for Christmas in the late 70's. It had a picture of a band of guitarists on the front of the bass drum head. After a few weeks of trying, "I gave up on the drums and cut the bass drum head out and nailed it to the wall in my play room and said, 'that's what I want to do.'"
"My cousin started playing guitar after a few years of playing the saxophone. I wanted to follow in his footsteps because we were close in age and I had nobody else to look up to for direct inspiration."
Johnee asked his Mom for a guitar after trying Peter's a couple of times.
It would still be a couple of years before that would happen.
Seeing the Van Halen poster off of their "Women and Children First" record on Pete's wall and the fancy covers of Cheap Trick, KISS, Journey, Queen, Rolling Stones, RUSH, Styx, Jefferson Starship and ELO records and various guitar parts tossed all over Pete's room was what really gained Johnee's attention to the Rock n' Roll lifestyle he was in such dire search of...The year was 1980.
"It was the image I was attracted to over the music at that point."
1981: Johnee took an acoustic guitar course in his 6th Grade Music class. Receiving an 'A' on his final report card.
"I finally found something that people noticed about me that I can do well," Johnee stated.
And then came the avalanche that changed his musical life forever...
At some point in the summer of 1981 (while using the bathroom - he remembers), Johnee heard something on the radio that caught his ear that was so different...
"It had a certain electricity about it that charged through my body when it hit me."
The song was "Crazy Train" by Ozzy Osbourne.
"That opening bass line blew me away, but I didn't know what it was at the time."
Growing up on a dirt road surrounded by horse and hobby farms and a river and limited kids in the area realy set him back trying to find out information.
"All the kids in school were into sports. They couldn't care less about Rock music like I wanted to."
He continued to build forts and bicycle trails in the woods across the street until the next piece of the musical puzzle moved in 2 doors down that year.
"Britt was a perverted kid with a great record collection!"
"He was really into Van Halen and KISS. His Mom had all three of the Van Halen 8-track tapes in her Monte Carlo! We traded KISS and Dukes of Hazzard cards and played with our Stomper trucks."
Boys will be boys...
In 1982 Johnee joined the Columbia House and RCA Record Clubs through his Grandmother's suggestion. There he was introduced to some of the most influential groups of the late 70s and early 80's. Van Halen, Foreigner, The Cars, Black Sabbath and more KISS!