1977: Backstage at The Rat
Born in New Bedford, Mass., Johnny played the drums and attended boarding school in the Berkshires. After his drums finally broke down, he sang and played harmonica in a weekend blues band in New York City's Greenwich Village in the late 60's. After 2 years at U-Mass Dartmouth, Johnny moved to Boston and started a blues band, playing guitar. He drove a taxicab, attended Berklee School of Music and Harvard University Extension School majoring in philosophy.
Johnny Barnes sang and played guitar in all of the famous nightclubs in
greater Boston with many Rock & Roll legends, producing and releasing a dozen records. Local airplay and intense record company interest led to a hit song in England and work with legendary producer, Jimmy Miller [Rolling Stones, Spencer Davis Group, Blind Faith with Eric Clapton, Traffic with Steve Winwood, Motorhead, Bonnie and Delaney with Eric Clapton.
Barnes moonlighted, helping manage Boston's largest live music nightclub, The Channel, where his band opened for numerous major acts through the 80's and early 90's.
At the same time, Barnes was a paralegal investigator for law firms, and an operative and operations manager for Boston area private detective agencies. Johnny worked for Mass Legal Services, the Mass ACLU, and was a subcontract homicide investigator for the state's Committee for Public Counsel. In 1991 Barnes left The Channel for a job as a full time police patrol officer, FBI trained hostage negotiator, and detective. He recently retired from The Force and plays out with The NightCrawlers.