What Johnny Means to Me
In June 2002, we asked thirteen of Johhnny’s showbiz pals to pay tribute. Here’s what they had to say.
As told to Bill Zehme:
I miss him very much. The late-night guys now—they’re good, but with Johnny you were never tense. He was always someone you could be completely relaxed with and you knew that he was never going to let you down. He never did. There’s something about him—tremendous personal charm.
Before my last time with him, I was doing the sound check and thought to myself, ‘I wonder what his favorite song is?’ I turned to Doc and asked and he said it was “Here’s That Rainy Day.” I couldn’t believe that I had forgotten to ask before that minute. But fortunately I knew that song, so it turned into an improvised moment, which was very sweet.
He let down a lot of guard that night. When I was done, I put the red lei around his neck and fled. All those emotions—I just about died.”