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Biography

Johnny and Joey Gioeli (born Giovanni Giuseppe Baptista and Giuseppe Giovanni Antonio Gioeli in 1965 and 1967 in New York respectively) hit the Rock n' Roll trail in their hometown of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Debuting in 1980 in the band KILLERHIT, the brothers (going under the assumed names of Johnny Law and Jo-Jo Law and at that time playing vocals / drums and guitar respectively) teamed up with guitarist Christopher Paul and bassist Jay Scott King. This formative act hit the East Coast club circuit with an enormous amount of success, earning enough by 1987 to have purchased their own lighting rig, truck and a tour bus purchased from Jimmy Buffet.

Re-locating to Hollywood, KILLERHIT hooked up with POISON's BRET MICHAELS. The singer gave them his then publicist Debra Rosner's number who instantly became the band's manager. Realizing the need for a full blown front man, Johnny vacated the drum stool for centre stage. Las Vegas native Derek Cava took his place behind the drum kit and soon after the band switched names to the more appropriate BRUNETTE.

Gaining a small part playing a band called SMASH PALACE in the movie 'Smash, Crash And Burn', and having Dana Strum of VINNIE VINCENT'S INVASION and SLAUGHTER repute, produce their first, five track demo, BRUNETTE were swiftly becoming a hot act on the Los Angeles scene. But the elusive record deal always seemed to be out of reach

The Gioeli brothers split the band to team up with fabled JOURNEY and BAD ENGLISH guitarist NEAL SCHON, who had family connections, becoming their brother-in-law after his marriage to the Gioeli's sister, HARDLINE was formed.

Schon brought his BAD ENGLISH colleague drummer Deen Castronovo with him and the line-up was completed by bassist Todd Jensen. The latter had begun his career in the Portland, Oregon melodic Rock outfit SEQUEL. Jensen also held association with MOVIE STAR (the group that spawned BLACK N' BLUE), AMERICAN MAN, HARLOW and had enjoyed a touring role with DAVID LEE ROTH on the 'A Little Ain't Enough' dates. The new look HARDLINE band played three shows in America opening for VAN HALEN in April 1992. Later that same year Jensen and Castronovo hooked up ex-FREE and BAD COMPANY vocalist PAUL RODGERS for tour work.

Ex-HARDLINE member Todd Jensen appears on ex-KEEL and COLD SWEAT guitarist MARC FERRARI's 1996 solo album 'Guest List' and toured as part of ALICE COOPER's band during 1997.

The Mike Slamer penned 'Dr. Love' was covered by the guitarist himself on the debut STEELHOUSE LANE album, 'Metallic Blue', in 1998. Schon's JOURNEY compatriot JONATHON CAIN contributes to the album on the songwriting front.

Johnny Gioeli was to front German guitar hero AXEL RUDI PELL's band for his 1998's 'Oceans Of Time' album. Castronovo, after a session for the heavyweight GEEZER project led by BLACK SABBATH bassist Geezer Butler, was reunited with Neal Schon in 1998 when the drummer replaced Steve Smith in JOURNEY.

Gioeli announced in late 2000 that HARDLINE had been reactivated with former TAMPLIN and JAG PANZER guitarist JOEY TAFOLLA taking Schon's position. Taking the drum position was none other than erstwhile NELSON and VINNIE VINCENT INVASION man Bob Rock. Johnny Gioeli would also make a guest appearance in 2001 donating lead vocal to the track 'Live And Learn' by Japanese guitarist JUN SENOUE for the Sega Dreamcast 'Sonic Adventure 2' game soundtrack. Meantime it would be learned that the HARDLINE song 'Love Leads The Way', originally included as a Japanese bonus cut for the 'Double Eclipse' album, would be covered on the debut album from fellow AORsters KHYMERA.

Johnny Gioeli would also find time to session for ex-LION and BAD MOON RISING guitarist DOUG ALDRICH's 2001 solo work. In order to promote the 2002 comeback album, which included a guest session courtesy of former LE MANS man and present day TWO FIRES member Josh Ramos, the band announced an appearance at the British AOR 'Gods' festival. Ramos would figure in the live band for this event too. HARDLINE keyboard player Michael T. Ross united with veteran Pomp act ANGEL for live shows in November of 2003. Johnny Gioeli also came to attention outside of his priority band activities, portraying the character "Sultan Oddyfer" for a Daniele Liverani 2004 GENIUS outing 'In Search of The Little Prince'. That November HARDLINE entered the studio to cut a new album.

In January 2005 the band made available rare archive recordings through their website including BRUNETTE demos and HARDLINE titles 'The Double Eclipse Demos' and 'Hardline - Live in Auburn Hills 1992', the latter recorded at a support to VAN HALEN.

Both Joey and Johnny Gioeli were in the news again in May 2006, albeit for all the wrong reasons when a tooth whitening company the brothers owned, 'White Overnite', was investigated by unsatisfied customers. Reportedly the Los Angeles Better Business Bureau was receiving over 100 complaints a month about the business.

During 2008 Josh Ramos hooked up with the HUGO, OPEN SKYZ and VALENTINE credited vocalist Hugo to convene RAMOS-HUGO for an October album 'The Dream'.

HARDLINE returned to action in April 2009 with the album 'Leaving The End Open' through Frontiers Records.

Garry Sharpe-Young / Dave Reynolds

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