Johnny Rock

I have always loved music, and when I was 10 years old, I bought a bass guitar and started playing simple songs, such as Deep Purple (Smoke on the Water) and some Black Sabbath songs. I felt that rhythm and grooves were not natural to me and that I didn’t have musical talent, so I played for only a short time.

Johnny Rocks 1st Band "Into The Void"

Stacks Image 3


Years later, at age 25, my two best friends—both great musicians— Chris who played drums and sang, and Mike who played electric guitar. They encouraged me to buy a bass guitar, and then we started our own band,
“Into the Void.” The first time I ever played bass was in a band environment. Both Chris and Mike had been musicians for over 10 years, and Chris was also a singer/songwriter and had played in many bands.

Stacks Image 6


As a critical thinker and self- learner,
I decided to record all our rehearsals on audio cassette tape, as a reference of what I was playing and how we became a band. I still have those cassettes of every rehearsal we ever played. I played the simple parts, such as DDDD-C, DDDD-CC, as the drummer and guitarist laid down the groove and melody.


Stacks Image 14


We set out to add lyrics to our songs, formatting them with verses and choruses. Chris and I pledged to write a song or two every week, and within seven rehearsals, we had enough songs to play our first show. My self-learning skills became evident in my ability to write songs, lyrics and perform at live shows. As the years went on, I took bass lessons and incorporated new skills, techniques and concepts into my songs. Yet, my first days with the band involved a learning curve of experiencing, learning and using my audio cassette recordings as a study aid for the next rehearsal.


"Into the Void" was initially formed as a three-piece with Chris Conkle (Drums / Vocals), Johnny "Rock" Mendola (Bass / Vocals), and Mike Chaves (Guitar). "Into the Voids" music combines various musical styles influenced by Led Zeppelin! While their musical genre cover Rock, Pop Rock, Ballads, Blues, and Heavy guitar-based songs, the music is melodic and well structured. 

Chris and I pledged to write a song or two every week, and within seven rehearsals, we had enough songs to play our first show.
Johnny "Rock" Mendola

Influences

Stacks Image 20

What Chris, Mike, and I had in common is that we all loved Led Zeppelin. My bedroom looked like this in the late 70s and early 1980s. Musically as a band, we were inspired by Zeppelin. When we played Zeppelin songs, we would always play live versions from the soundtrack, "The Song Remains the Same." In addition, my Zeppelin Collection included live shows from 1968-1980, which enhanced "ITV's" appreciation and love for Led Zeppelin.
What Chris, Mike, and I had in common is that we all loved Led Zeppelin!
Johnny "Rock" Mendola

Live Shows

Stacks Image 23

Into the Void was mainly a party band playing at various parties around Los Angeles and Orange County and nightclubs. Our set list consists of our original songs and Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and Aerosmith covers.

In the Studio

Stacks Image 30
Into the Void started working on their Album "Entering Orbit" in late 1989. The albums consist of the following original tracks:
1. The Grave
2. Highway Drive
3. HD (Heavy Drugs)
4. Rhythm on My Mind
5. Fair Game
6. World of Confusion
7. Green Eyes
7. Boys Toys
8. Prolong / My Time of Year

Stacks Image 74
Album Cover "Entering Orbit"

Chris and Johnny tracked and recorded the album at "Johnny Rocks" home studio on a Tascam 1/2 inch 8 track Reel. However, the album was never finished as Chris, an entrepreneur, went on the road as an owner of concession stands and pursued a career touring county fairs.


Johnny Rocks 2nd Band "Love Like Blood"

Stacks Image 41

Chris went on the road to pursue an entrepreneur endeavor, and I joined a new band named "Love Like Blood". Whereas Into the Void had been a 1970s style rock band, Love Like Blood was a pop/new wave band. We had recorded a three-song, twenty-four- track demo and were playing the LA circuit, rotating between the Whiskey A-Go-Go and the Roxy. Oh, what a thrill to perform on the famous Sunset Strip where all of the legends made their mark! I thought to myself, I am performing on the same stages that Hendrix, Joplin, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Van Halen and numerous others performed on! We passed out flyers on the Strip, took ads in the rags and even rented buses to truck our local Orange County following up to the shows. Yet, no record deal. There were industry people at the shows, we were playing with national touring acts and we had a great following. We bought the best shows and spots possible (yes, pay to play) and still no action.

I thought to myself, I am performing on the same stages that Hendrix, Joplin, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Van Halen and numerous others performed on!
Johnny Rock

"Love Like Blood" - Asia Tour

Stacks Image 44

Finally, the break came! That’s right, an opportunity—yet this was very different than what you would expect. I had a real fetish about living in the limelight, and for that reason, every time we would play the Strip (about every five weeks) I would stay at the then-named Le Belage Hotel (which sits kitty-corner from the Whiskey). Yes, the famous Le Belage Hotel that catered to the likes of Jimmy Page, David Coverdale, Paul Rogers, and so on. After one of our shows at the Roxy, I went back to the hotel and, during the course of the evening, met up with a promoter who was looking to book a Celebrity Impersonator tour of Asia, and more specifically, Bangladesh (with stops in Japan and Thailand) and needed a band. This scenario intrigued me, and after a few weeks of negotiations, we got the gig and were able to perform our original set.


Stacks Image 49

In June 1992, Love Like Blood was to experience stardom in a Third World country. We left Los Angeles on Thai Airlines, complete with Marshall stacks, bass bins and instruments, bound for Bangladesh. When we arrived, it was like Beatlemania. There was nearly 10,000 people surrounding the airport. There were billboards, TV advertisements and interviews with local reporters. It was the most incredible feeling that I have ever encountered in the music industry. We enjoyed three back-to-back performances, and the shows were a success. After this tour, I realized what rock and roll is all about.

When we arrived in Bangladesh, it was like Beatlemania. There was nearly 10,000 people surrounding the airport.
Johnny Rock

Johnny Rock and "ITV" in the 21st Century

Stacks Image 56



After several decades Chris and Johnny Rock decided to finish the
"Into the Void" (ITV) album. With modern-day technology, we could take the original analog tapes, send them to a Nashville studio to be baked, and then transfer them into a digital format for Protools. What gets exciting is with Johnny's 20 years in the music business, Johnny had made many friends that are platinum artists and offered to play on Johnny's album; featuring the music of "Into The Void." The new project is called "JMP," The John Mendola Project.

About the Project

Stacks Image 66

Inspired by the likes of icons of music such as top bassist John Paul Jones and the guitar genius Jimmy Page, up-and-coming musical icon Johnny Rock is on the right track towards success. Propelling forward with the true force of the Johnny Mendola Project (JMP), the rising bassist highlights life experiences through the power of music, influenced by the unique and rhythmic styles of the band Led Zeppelin.


Biography of the Members

Stacks Image 71
A thriving force in the rich and dynamic realm of Rock, Johnny Rock and the “Johnny Mendola Project (JMP)” are set to become the most phenomenal band to come out of the genre. With a unique and diverse musical journey, Dr. Johnny Rock is a talented bassist, who went on a musical tour of Asia, and henceforth styled himself as Johnny Rock. As an entrepreneur, the budding artist started produced the "Handover Concert" staged when Hong Kong reverted to Chinese rule in 1997, while working with acts such as Kelly Chan (慧琳) and Arron Kwok (郭富城). He also played a stadium show in India where 12 million people watch him on TV.

The group “The Johnny Mendola Project (JMP)" was formed from the band "Into the Void" and was originally composed of two members, namely
Johnny "Rock" Mendola and Chris Conkle. Experimenting, evolving, and growing their musical styles, The Johnny Mendola Project (JMP) has recorded and performed rich original musical compositions, marking their own unique journey. The studio and live players include a stunning group of talented and well-known musicians, including Scott Page, who is famed for his performance playing the saxophone in the celebrated British band Pink Floyd. Eric Troyer, who has worked with John Lennon, Billy Joel, Aerosmith and many others was on backing vocals, harmonies and keyboards on the song “Fair Game”, “Highway Drive” and “World of Confusion”. World renown trumpet player David Longoria, amongst others players, producer Eric Gartner and engineers such as Robert Eibach (best known for his work with Ariana Grande) add their talents and skills to the JMP project.

The project is led by
two founding members Johnny Rock (John Mendola), who plays the Bass Guitar and provides backing vocals, and Chris Conkle, who plays drums and percussions, and provides backing vocals. The fiery duo shares the song writing duties and each write songs for the project. They are complemented by the artistic genius of LA producer Keith Taylor, cousin of famous singer-songwriter James Taylor. Expressing their stunning talents in a range of diverse musical styles and tones, the Johnny Mendola Project (JMP) immerses listeners in a rich world of Pop, Rock and Soul. A prolific businessman, musician and professor, Johnny Rock enjoys teaching students how to follow their dreams and passions. The band Project JMP is driven to enthrall and excite, with hip singles such as “Highway Drive”, “The Grave”, and “Rhythm on my Mind”. The band plans to embark on a promotional tour of Asia in 2023. The group includes the musical genius of Ross Shepard on guitar and song writing, Caleb Mendola on rhythm guitar, Hunter Mariano on lead vocals and keys, Mark Koch on guitars and song writing, Scott Page on saxophone, Eric Troyer on backing vocals and piano, and David Longoria winning hearts on the trumpets, while engineer Robert Eibach whose worked Ariana Grande, Jennifer Lopez and Taylor Swift is polishing up the mixes. . Currently, the group is working on finishing their album “JMP” and Friends by December of 2022. The growing artist wishes to surge ahead and is also involved in recording the single, “Rhythm on my Mind”, with Grammy winner and world-renowned trumpet player David Longoria, which is slated for release in China in the following year.

Johnny and guitarist Ross Shepard toured Hollywood's Sunset strip opening for National acts and playing at venues such as the world-famous Whisky A go go and The Roxie with the band "Love Like Blood." The band went on to tour Asia!!! Ross Shepard's guitar writing and playing added great depth to this album and created a new dimension to the sound and integrity of the project. Ross was the original guitar player and song writer on the track "World of Confusion". Thanks to Mark Koch from the band "Wishbone" for his writing contributions and guitar playing on HD and Fair Game. Special thanks to the amazing Hunter Mariano for singing Lead Vocals and Harmonies on the album.

For the 21st Century, the Los Angeles-based band consists of two original members, Johnny "Rock" Mendola and Chris Conkle. Various studio artists contributed to the recording of the album and the live performances allowing the band to evolve into what they are today, "The JMP and Friends Project"!


Song Lists:
1. The Grave (Conkle)  
2. Highway Drive (Mendola)  
3. HD (Heavy Drugs) (Conkle, Koch)

4. Rhythm on My Mind (Mendola)
5. Fair Game (Conkle, Koch)  
6. World of Confusion (Conkle, Mendola, Shepard)
7. Asian Eyes (Mendola)
8. Boys Toys (Conkle, Shepard)

9. Prolong / My Time of Year (Mendola, Conkle)
10. Changing Times (Shepard)