|Glenn M. Taylor, guitar, keyboards, vocals *|
Christopher Bolger, guitar, bass, vocals *
Ben Asher, bass, vocals *
Joe Alexander, guitar, vocals
Bob Cianci, drums, vocals
Ray Longchamp, guitar, mandolin, vocals
Peter Scance, bass, guitar, vocals
Chris Roselle, guitar, harmonica, vocals
|Al Egizi, guitar, vocals|
Russ Crapella, guitar, vocals
Dave Hirschberg, drums, vocals
Joe Coghlan, drums, guitar, vocals
Michael Muro, guitars, vocals
Jeff Guenther, guitar, bass, vocals
Cliff Doenges, guitar, mandolin, percussion
|Keith Theall, bass, vocals|
Gary Evans, keyboards, harmonica, guitar, vocals
Jerry DeLisio, saxophone(s), flute, vocals
Brian Wiley, bass, vocals
Don Guinta, drums, vocals
Paul 'Swami' Simeone, keyboards, accordion, vocals
Scott Calvert, saxophone(s), woodwinds, vocals
Adam Egizi, bass, ukulele, vocals
Andrei Koribanics, drums, vocals
Mike Garner, bass, vocals
Rhonda Grindell, drums, vocals
* Indicates original Kootz / OMJ band-member; (see history)
Johnny "Guitar" Salamone, guitar, vocals
Born in 1950, "J-Sal" (a.k.a. Johnny 'Guitar' Salamone) hails from the Northern-NJ Township of Belleville, where he spent his musical 'Wonder Years'.
For John, music was 'in the blood' early in life. At the tender age of nine, he received some good, fatherly-advice; Dad offered-up 'The King', Elvis Presley as a role-model... and imparted; "you can do that too"! Shortly-thereafter, a brand-new electric six-string as well-as guitar-lessons were in the offing.
Johnny hungered for rock 'n roll... but his teacher was only serving-up jazz, scales, and boring rudimentary-exercises. Needless to say, the 'residency' didn't last long. Undaunted, the young-'JS' set-out to teach himself how to play the music that so-mesmerized him... and by the age of 13, he'd hooked up with some local buddies and started his very-first band, "The Del-Rays". Performing a mix of Ventures, Jr. Walker & The All-Stars and Motown-classics, they performed at numerous local school and CYO dances, as well as parties and battles-of-the-bands.
By the time John reached high school in the early '60s, he'd honed his craft well-enough to be sought-out by several-different local-music-groups. The musical-menu was comprised of mostly Sam & Dave, Wilson Pickett, James Brown and other R & B-hits... For a time, some typical-distractions of 'the teenage-years'; sports, girls and cars distracted him, but that changed in August of 1969 when young-Johnny attended the iconic Woodstock Music and Arts Festival in upstate New York... Upon his return-home from Bethel, Johnny decided to add the word 'Guitar' to his name... It was 'Rock 'n Roll' from that-point on.
Over the next several years, 'J-Sal' continued to self-educate, courtesy of the collective-inspirations of Eric Clapton, The Allman Brothers and Carlos Santana, to name but a few. He learned not-only their classic 'licks and tricks', but also worked-constantly to improve and develop his 'tone'. At about the same time, John enrolled in engineering school, attending NJIT; but the desire to become a 'full-time-rocker' won-out. Much to his (previously-encouraging) Father's-chagrin, John left the classroom... and headed for the stage, teaming up with the band 'East Coast', which toured all-around the tri-state area, concentrating predominantly on the Greenwood-Lake club-scene.
By the early '70s, 'Johnny-Guitar' had played with more local and touring bands than he could remember. A few that he CAN recall are; Bobby Dee and The Dream band, which performed on the Murray the 'K' oldies-tour circuit. One personal-highlight for John was getting to play with Sam the Sham (Woolly-Bully) at the famed Stanley-Warner Theater in Jersey City, NJ. Says John, "It was one of the most exciting gigs I ever did. The place was packed, the sound system was great and Sam was a fantastic showman". Sam gave JS a generous-lot of solo-spots that evening, allowing him to... "just let it rip". He had a blast!
Shortly thereafter, in 1976, Mr. Salamone joined The Max Romeo Band, a reggae group that toured as the opening-act for the legendary Peter Tosh. While with the Romeo-outfit, John got to perform at some legendary venues, including The Palladium in New York City, The Capitol Theatre in Passaic and The Park-West in Chicago. All very-thrilling for a young man of 26... After just 6-intense-months on 'perpetual-tour' with Max, John decided 'get off the bus' to mellow-out a bit.
Working-out as a solo-act, JS hit the local-pubs and taverns for a couple of years... but he soon-tired of playing alone. He joined the club-date band, "The Blast", in 1980. At one-point, this ensemble was grinding-out over 100 wedding-gigs a year! Jokingly, John muses, "Sometimes, I wonder how many of those couples are still together"... After a 10 year-residency with The Blast, Johnny 'Guitar' decided he needed a break... and transformed himself into Johnny-'Golf', for a short-time (he claims his game STILL needs a lot of work).
Soon-thereafter, a long-stint ensued with the classic-rock outfit 'Midlife Crisis' (that lasted over 20 years, starting in the early-90s). John then-decided that it was time to get-back to crafting his own music compositions. In the Fall of 2013, after a 33+ year hiatus since his previous studio-effort, John rang-up his old pal Glenn Taylor at Taylor-Made Productions/Recording. The two had collaborated on a 'JS-original' project in 1980... Once-again, they were laying-down tracks together. GT was so impressed with John's musical-diversity all these years later, that the offer to join-forces in 'The Kootz 'was tendered... Johnny-'Guitar' accepted, proclaiming; "This is gonna-be GREAT!"... 'The Kootz' think so too!!!
John is happily-married to his lovely wife Diana and they now reside in Nutely, NJ with their grandson Justin.