Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Eric Johnson and his time with Mariani

16 yr old Eric Johnson
(photo credit - Jay Aaron Podolnick)
Eric Johnson was just fourteen when he first met drummer Vince Mariani. Later when Vince was looking to form a band, Eric was invited to audition at the Austin, Texas-based Sonobeat Records' Western Hills Drive studio. He impressed everyone with his astounding guitar pyrotechnics. Eric was instantly chosen to be a part of the nameless band then. Later Austin based bassist Bob Trenchard joined the band.

The band was formed in the fall of 1969. In November, they were looking for a name for the band as they were preparing to work on their debut album. They ended up with the name "Mariani". Bill Josey Sr. of the Sonobeat Records suggested that the band record demos before committing to an album - the band recorded two unnamed instrumentals. Shortly after recording the demo tracks, Bob Trenchard left the band; and bass guitarist and vocalist Jay Podolnick replaced him.

Vince Mariani
(photo credit -
In 1970, Mariani recorded their first single "Re-birth Day". The song was composed by Vince and Eric with lyrics by Herman M. Nelson and a double-tracked vocal by Jay. The advance copy of the single was issued in a rubber stamped sleeve. Later the band recorded another single "Memories Lost and Found".

After the two singles Jay was replaced by Jimmy Bullock on bass and Bill Wilson, an airman then stationed at Austin's Bergstrom Air Force Base, on vocals. The band was also joined by St. Edward's University junior Darrell Peal. The group worked up four new songs - two vocals and two long instrumental jams and, with new versions of Re-birth Day and Memories Lost and Found. The band finally recorded the album "Perpetuum Mobile" of which only 100 copies were produced. The album was never released commercially. A rare surviving copy offered on eBay in 2008 sold for $2,850 and included Vince's handwritten note, "This is one of only 100 copies ever made. It has become a great collector item in certain galaxies." Later in 2001, Akarma Records, a specialty label, issued a version of the album.
Peretuum Mobile - Mariani

The band shared the bill with ZZ Top and Bloodrock in their home state of Texas.

More about Mariani and Perpetuum Mobile -
Sonobeat Records

Buy Peretuum Mobile -
Tower Records


  1. Is it really you Eric? Video of 1981!

  2. Looking to teach out to my old neighbor, Vince Mariani.

  3. Looking to teach out to my old neighbor, Vince Mariani.