The Real Kids
Felice (born 1955) grew up in Natick, Massachusetts as a neighbor and friend of Jonathan Richman, a fellow fan of The Velvet Underground. At 15 he joined Richman in the first line-up of The Modern Lovers in the early 1970s. He performed with the band intermittently from then until 1973, but because of his school commitments, he was not involved in the 1972 sessions which produced the classic first Modern Lovers album. Commenting on Richman, Felice has said, "Me and Jonathan, as close as we were, you know, I was like a punk, I was a wise-ass kid. I liked to do a lot of drugs, I liked to drink, and Jonathan was like this wide-eyed, no-drugs, ate nothing but health food...".
Felice then decided to start his own band and formed The Real Kids (originally named The Kids) in 1972, with Rick Coraccio (bass), Steve Davidson (guitar), and Norman Bloom (drums). They became a successful live band in the Boston area, playing "an aggressive brand of straight-ahead, no-bullshit rock which harkened back to Chuck Berry, had overtones of the British Invasion groups at their mod finest, yet pointed the way towards the Punk to come". In addition to Felice's own songs, they performed versions of classics by Eddie Cochran, Buddy Holly and others. The band did not record until 1977, when it comprised Felice, Billy Borgioli (guitar), Allen "Alpo" Paulino (bass), and Howie Ferguson (drums). Their first studio album, The Real Kids, was issued on the Red Star label in 1978.
While continuing to play occasionally with different line-ups of The Real Kids, Felice also worked for a time as a roadie for the Ramones. He also performed as part of the Taxi Boys in Boston. The Real Kids reformed to tour Europe and release a new album, Hit You Hard on French label New Rose in 1983. Band members Alpo Paulino and Billy Borgioli then left to form the Primitive Souls. In 1988, Felice formed a new band, John Felice and The Lowdowns, releasing an album "Nothing Pretty" on Ace of Hearts records, later re-released on Norton Records.