John Angelina cut his teeth on 45s. He grew up in a house full of Coasters, Everly Brothers, Elvis and the like, all competing for his attention - from the record player his teenage sisters ran as often and as loud as they could get away with. Then, when he was nine, he heard the Beatles, and he knew that it was time for him to play the rock that would roll people. Still, he waited 'til he was twelve, before starting his first group.
In no time "Little John and the Sheiks" were gigging every weekend.
Young John would play live at every opportunity and this single-mindedness took him, in his early teens, to some of the 60s' hottest clubs in the U.S. North-East. His band at that time - "Kotillion" - played the same venues as new acts like "Deep Purple" and "Alice Cooper" - bands he would later meet and whose members would personally influence his life.
In 1973, there was only one place to be and that was LA, so, in the first week of that year, John headed for the West Coast, taking with him a new rhythm section and a vocalist lured away from "Sly and the Family Stone".
This band fused metal rock with funky soul - the baddest sound around back then - and opened the doors to Paramount Studios where, on the second day of recording, Bonnie - then the better half of Delaney and Bonnie - sat in on backing vocals.
While the Paramount sessions were in progress, John was approached by "Deep Purple" guitarist, Ritchie Blackmore. Would he consider putting a band together for the singer Shoshana? John had already worked with Shoshana on the East Coast. A friend of John's - engineer and producer Artie King, who was working with Alice Cooper - was keen to record with Shoshana, so why not? This constellation was then called "Dark Star".
Between 74-76 they recorded a mass of material at the now legendary "Record Plant". They played the "Whiskey", the "Starwood" and other venues with bands like the up-and-coming "Van Halen", and hung out with musicians such as Keith Moon and Tommy Bolen who, like them, had come to "the only place to be".
All this time „Dark Star" was developing new material, perfecting a roadshow, and sharing a house with Blackmore.
"The time I spent living and working with Ritchie was one of the most valuable times of growing for me as a young musician. We would jam together or visit some club and do a set for free drinks. Every club owner was thrilled to have Blackmore on his stage and those sessions where some of the best memories I have of that time".
Life is full of surprises. In 1990 he was called up on to the stage for a spontaneous performance at the concert of a Gospel Singer. "That was when something that had been sleeping inside me came alive ". Couple of months later he was on a flight to Florida - going to work on the singer's new album. He knew that another guitar player was on the session, but when he arrived at the studio, he was in for a big surprise.
The other guitar player was the legendary Mike Deasy. "When I heard Mike was there, I got very nervous, 'cause I knew his name from the days at the Record Plant. Mike had played on everybody’s records - from Elvis, who he toured with from 68-71, to the Beach Boys, Simon & Garfunkel, the Mamas and the Papas and the list would go on and on.
Life is full of surprises? You better believe it. Introduced to Sandy McLelland, a London-based writer and producer whose services have been called upon by many artists, among them, Tears for Fears, and the gentleman who used to play bass in a band called "Wings".
John and Sandy recorded five new Angelina titles in the summer of 96, featuring vocalist Ray Bevan and erstwhile Clapton sideman Dave Markee on bass. This demo became the road map to what we know now as John Angelinas AMEN.