Ukuleles, didgeridoo’s and mini violins worth half a million – one of these odd instruments were part of this season’s memorable appearances on reality television show American Idol. Bushwick resident and local musician Johnny Arco attended the New York auditions with his signature instrument – a mini violin – to sing in front of Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick Jr. and guest judge Adam Lambert, hoping for a chance to become a hit musician via the popular FOX singing competition.
During his audition Johnny struck up a lively conversation with the judges; his experience of being arrested while singing a Bach harmony in New York City subway stations served as a backdrop to his story. He claimed his coveted mini violin was worth half a million dollars, and used it to carry out a heartfelt Radiohead tune. The judges even seemed to hint that the device was just a thrift-shop find, perhaps somewhere in Brooklyn, only adding to the audition’s overall charm.
“Super intense, super talented” is how Harry Connick Jr. described the alternative rock musician who did not make it through to the next round. “I actually love that guy,” he added after Johnny followed production’s cues to leave the audition room. “So it looks like Johnny Arco is going to have to take his act back underground,” host Ryan Seacrest said regretfully. But what producers at FOX don’t realize is most of Bushwick’s subway stations are above ground – they even captured him entering the M train station toward the end.
So who is this Johnny Arco? His Twitter page describes him as “an exclusive GRBK Music Group original recording and touring artist, based in Bushwick” and his website JohnnyArco.com tells us that this local tries his best to stay transient: 5 months of every year on the road traveling the globe, 3 months in NYC and 3 months in Los Angeles.
Johnny is currently in L.A. working on some new music and we hope to catch him back in Bushwick soon!