Johnny & the Distractions
Click on image to purchase CD or listen to samples.
Visit the Distractions page at PacificNorthwestBands.com
Visit the Jon Koonce webpage.
Johnny and the Distractions were one of the premier bands to ever come out of Portland.
The stories are legendary of all the sweaty clubs they played in the city including Sak’s Front Avenue, Euphoria, Last Hurrah….the list goes on. The band delivered every week, usually 4 days a week. The word got out and fans were lining up sold old clubs to get in.
Led by vocalist Jon Koonce along with Bill Feldmann (guitar) Greg Perry (keyboards), LaRue Todd (bass) and Kip Richardson (drums) had the chemistry, the chops and the songs. They worked up a crowd as if they were the best band in the world. The word went even farther after they self released their own record…yes record. The years were 1978 to 1984 and the vinyl record was still in its heyday. A&M Records signed the band to a record deal soon after. The end results was “Let It Rock”. Guitarist Mark Spangler now was in the band also. The record release party for the album was held at the Paramount Theater (now the Arlene Snitzter Auditorium) to a sold out audience of almost 3000.
“Let It Rock” started getting AOR radio play and an opening slot on a national tour for the J. Geils Band during their “Freeze Frame’ Tour. The tour even stopped off at the Memorial Coliseum on it’s way to Seattle and Canada. They put their hearts and souls into it and won over new fans at every stop.
They say all things have to come to an end. The end for this band came when A&M Records decided that they just needed Johnny, did not need the Distractions. The year was 1984. Yes, there was a Johnny & the Distractions band in the late 80’s and into the 90’s and it was real good however, it could not capture all the heart and soul of that original band. That band created the legacy that lives on in the minds of all who ever saw that band.
Roadhouse rock that's a cut above the rest. Johnny & The Distractions had two independent releases as well as a release for A&M.; Vocalist Johnny Koonce also recorded a solo album for A&M.; "My Desire-The Best Songs & More" is a ten song re-recorded greatest hits package of this rockin' outfit including the AOR hit Octane Twilight. It also includes two new tracks not found on any of his previous recordings. This one's for the fans and for anyone who had a great time in the rock clubs of the '70s.
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