Johnny Rey has been a fixture of the vibrant Twin Cities music scene for four decades. As guitar player, and original member, of the Rock/New Wave band 'Flamingo', Johnny played extensive dates in the 5 state region as well as playing the legendary 'Longhorn Bar' in downtown Minneapolis opening for everyone from The Talking Heads to Elvis Costello, The Only Ones and Patti Smith. It was at this time that Johnny started writing his first original songs.
At about the same time, Johnny starting to think it was time to branch out and start his own original band, he got a call from Jack Lee. Lee a founding member of The Nerves (as well as author of their big hit 'Hanging on the Telephone', later successfully covered by Blondie) was about to start a solo career in California and asked Johnny if he would move out to California and play guitar for him. After a year of playing at such venues as The Starwood, Troubadour and the Whiskey Au Go Go and recording in L.A., Johnny was itching to move back to Minneapolis and start his own band.
Upon arrival, Johnny's first move was to contact Michael McKern at Tracks on Fifth recording studio in St. Paul to record a single. Working with Michael, who is also a drummer, the single 'No Emotion' bw 'Looking for Trouble, was released in the winter of 81'. The next step was to put a band together. With Michael on drums, and Johnny on guitar and vocals, Tom McKean (lead guitar)and John Mitteco ( bass guitar) were added to create 'Johnny Rey and the Reaction'. The band debuted that summer at Sam's (now First Ave.) and played the 5 state circuit for three years before releasing the 12" EP 'More Then I Can Do' in 84'. The band continued on for another year before Johnny decided to suspend playing live gigs to concentrate on recording his ever growing library of original music.
Johnny has continued to write and record and in the winter of 2014 Johnny's first full length project was released, 'Songs for a Lonely Highway' containing some of his best work such as 'Drifting Out To Sea' and 'Cool Blue'.
After missing the live scene for some years, Johnny has reformed 'Johnny Rey and the Reaction and again, debuting at First Ave., Johnny is out there playing his many original songs live.