Johnny A.

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Johnny A.
Johnny A. playing at the Twilight Festival on June 14, 2007.
Background information
Born 1952
Malden, Massachusetts, United States
Genres Instrumental rock, jazz, blues
Instruments Guitar
Years active 1975–present
Labels Aglaophone Records, Favored Nations

Johnny A. is an American guitarist/songwriter, born November 14, 1952 in Malden, Massachusetts.[1]

Growing up in Boston, he became interested in music, starting with drums at age six. Upon being exposed to The Beatles in 1964 (age 12), Johnny bought a $49 Lafayette Electronics guitar. In the late 1970s, he formed a band called The Streets, performing mostly in the Boston area. In 1986 his band, Hearts On Fire, placed second in the WBCN Rock & Roll Rumble only to be edged out by Gang Green.[citation needed]

As a sideman, Johnny played with Santana percussionist Mingo Lewis as well as brief stint with Creedence Clearwater Revival drummer Doug Clifford and then with Delaney & Bonnie, Derek & the Dominos keyboardist Bobby Whitlock. He then began a seven-year stint as guitarist and musical director with The J. Geils Band front man Peter Wolf. He played on Wolf's albums, and co-produced one of them, Long Line 1996 (4 stars - Rolling Stone), as well as joining him on world tours.

In 1999 Johnny A. launched his solo career and independently released his debut CD Sometime Tuesday Morning. The album was re-released in 2001 on Steve Vai's Favored Nations Entertainment label Sony/RED distribution. The album spawned the #1 single "Oh Yeah" across the USA on the AAA radio format. It marked the first time in over a decade that an instrumental had achieved the top spot on radio. "STM" went on to sell over 90,000 copies. The album was then picked up for distribution by Danny Goldberg at Artemus Records. In 2003, the Gibson Custom Guitar company in close collaboration with Johnny A., released a "Johnny A." Signature Model guitar designed to the artist's specifications. To this day it is one of the company's most successful "signature" model guitars. In 2004, "Get Inside" was released on the Favored Nations Label, yielding two radio singles, "I Had To Laugh," and a radio edit of the title track "Get Inside." In 2006 Warner Bros./Alfred Publishing released a Johnny A. instructional DVD entitled "Taste, Tone, Space." In 2007 the Gibson Custom guitar company released a second Johnny A. Signature guitar, the Johnny A. Standard. Johnny A. released One November Night (2010 Aglaophone Records), a live DVD/CD set recorded at Sculler's Jazz in his hometown of Boston, MA. Johnny A. is the recipient of The Boston Music Award's Blues Artist of the Year 2010. Johnny's most recent studio offering, Driven, (June 3, 2014),[2] is his most ambitious album to date. It marks his engineering debut as well as mixing, producing and playing all the instruments on the album. In December 2014 Gibson Custom released a "new" version of the Johnny A. Standard. All three versions are still currently in production. On December 14, 2014 Johnny A. was inducted into the Boston Music Hall of Fame at the Boston Music Awards.

Gibson's Custom Shop designed a Johnny A. Signature Edition guitar per his specifications.[3]


Johnny says his last name, Antonopoulos[4] (of Greek origin), was always getting mispronounced. "It's always been Johnny A. since age eight," he says.[5]


Johnny's style often recalls Danny Gatton as well as some aspects of Jeff Beck and Pat Martino.[6] His encompasses elements of rock, jazz, and blues, and he often uses a whammy bar.[7] Among his musical influences, he cites The Beatles, Everly Brothers, Wes Montgomery, Chet Atkins, Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix and Les Paul.[8]


Sometime Tuesday Morning[edit]

Release 1999 (Aglaophone Records) - international re-release 2001 (Favored Nations/Aglaophone Records)
1. "Sometime Tuesday Morning"
2. "Oh Yeah"
3. "Wichita Lineman"
4. "Two Wheel Horse"
5. "In The Wind"
6. "Yes It Is"
7. "You Don't Love Me"
8. "Up In The Attic"
9. "Walk Don't Run"
10. "Tex Critter"
11. "Lullabye For Nicole"
12. "Walkin' West Ave."

"Sleigh Ride"[edit]

2002 radio promo single (Favored Nations/Aglaophone Records)
1. "Sleigh Ride"
2. "Oh Yeah"

Get Inside[edit]

2004 (Favored Nations)
1. "Hip Bone"
2. "I Had To Laugh"
3. "Poor Side of Town"
4. "Sing Singin'"
5. "Get Inside"
6. "Bundle Of Joy"
7. "Krea Gata"
8. "The Wind Cries Mary"
9. "Ignorance Is Bliss"
10."Sway A Little"
12."Another Life"

Taste • Tone • Space[edit]

2006 (Alfred Publishing)
Instructional guitar DVD

One November Night[edit]

2010 - Live DVD/CD 2-disc set (Aglaophone Records)
1. "I Had To Laugh"
2. "Sing Singin'"
3. "The Wind Cries Mary"
4. "Tex Critter"
5. "Lullabye For Nicole"
6. "Two Wheel Horse"
7. "Get Inside"
8. "The Night Before"
9. "Krea Gata"
10."Ignorance Is Bliss"
11."Wichita Lineman"
12."Memphis, Tennessee"
13."Jimi Jam"
14."Walk Away Renée"


2014 - (Aglaophone Records)
1. "Ghost"
2. "A Mask You Wear"
3. "C'mon, C'mon"
4. "The Night I Said Goodbye"
5. "From A Dark Place"
6. "To Love Somebody"
7. "Out Of Nowhere"
8. "The Arizona Man"
9. "It Must Have Been You"
10."Backbone Slip"
11."Gone... (like a sunset)"

Other contributions[edit]

  • Bobby Whitlock Live at The Bottom Line - NYC -10/92 (1992)
  • For The Love Of Harry, Peter Wolf & The Houseparty 5 (1995), guitar "You're Breakin' My Heart"
  • Long Line, Peter Wolf (1996), guitar/co-producer
  • Fool's Parade, Peter Wolf (1998), guitar on "Ride Lonesome, Ride Hard"
  • Beloved Few, Beloved Few (1998) bajo sexto on the song "The Beloved Few"
  • Sometime Tuesday Morning songbook Warner Bros./Alfred Publishing (2001)
  • WYEP Live and Direct: Volume 4 - On Air Performances (2002) "Tex Critter"
  • Get Inside songbook Alfred Publishing (2004)
  • One Last Wish, Stu Kimball (2006) featured guitarist on the songs "Little One" and "Elation"
  • Counting Down, The Brooks Young Band (2010) featured guitarist on the title song "Counting Down"
  • Just Across The River, Jimmy Webb (2010) featured guitarist on the song "Galveston"
  • Jim McCarty and Friends Live from Callahan's, Jim McCarty (2011) Johnny A. wrote with and is featured with Jim McCarty on the songs "J&A Jump" and "South Boulevard Blues"
  • Thank You Les, CD and documentary tribute to Les Paul (2012). Johnny A. is featured on the song "Sweet Georgia Brown"
  • Beautiful, Jerad Finck featuring Johnny A. (2012) featured guitarist on the song "Beautiful"
  • Deja Blues, Gary Hoey (2013) lead/rhythm and slide guitars on the song "She's Walking"


  1. ^ Johnny A. Interview
  2. ^ Guitarist Johnny A. to Release New Album, 'Driven,' June 3
  3. ^ Gibson Signature Model Artist Johnny A. Displays His Melodic Mastery on New DVD
  4. ^ Philadelphia City Paper March 11-17, 2004
  5. ^ Johnny A. | Archives | Reviews
  6. ^ "Pop Matters". 
  7. ^ Joyce, Mike (April 22, 2005). "Guitarist Johnny A., Getting Everybody's Licks In". The Washington Post. p. C08. 
  8. ^ A., Johnny (2005). Taste - Tone - Space (DVD). Alfred Publishing Co. ISBN 0-7579-4075-7. 

External links[edit]