Johnny O. Was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota; the oldest of a four children born to his Irish politician father and his Yugoslavian and Czech mother.
At age 6 he began playing the coronet and then at 8, encouraged by his grandmother, he began to play the accordion. At age 10 he was giving lessons to others.
He attended Hopkins Eisenhower high school and the University of Minnesota, all the time performing with various musical groups in the Twin Cities. When he was 15, he switched to the guitar and played with Loaded Dice, 4 for Rent, the George Kent Show, the Jim Calvin Show, the Monarch band, The Wanderers, the Scott and John Duo, and the Transport band. As a studio musician, he has some commercial and album credits.
He plans to make music his life. "It is touching people with emotion, communicating with them. There is no other place I would rather be than on stage with a guitar."
"Music is instant gratification," he says. "It is bringing pleasure to people. For me, it is feeling in its purest form. Each note or chord expresses a whole range of emotions. I play from my heart--that is the only way I know how."
He credits the late Jimi Hendrix with inspiring him to play the guitar.
These days he listens to many artists including Stevie Ray Vaughan and
Robert Cray. "There is fire in their playing. They can make a guitar
talk," he says.
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