As a teen growing up near Colorado Springs, Vic Johnson liked to think of himself as his town's own Jimi Hendrix. "Jimi turned me on to guitar," he says. "I soon picked up guitar and tried to learn all the Hendrix licks." Once bitten by the rock 'n' roll bug, Johnson never got over it. He played in bands throughout high school and beyond before moving to L.A. to seek entry into the thriving Hollywood music scene. He didn't have to wait to long. In 1980, he auditioned for and joined a fledgling all-African-American rock/soul band called the Busboys, and for the next eight years, he took a long ride on the back of a hurricane. The band appeared on the film "48 Hours", performed on "Saturday Night Live," and recorded several albums for Arista Records, all to the approval of their legion of fans around the world.
Vic enjoyed taking on side projects, such Sound Barriers, an all-black heavy metal band signed to MCA in the mid-80's. He also started his own metal band, Total Eclipse, which recorded for Taboo/A&M Records. Once the Busboys had run their course, Vic became a much-in-demand session player. But in the spring of '97, Vic's life changed yet again. He auditioned for Sammy Hagar's new band. He and Sam right away found many common interests, from mountain bikes and running to rock 'n' roll. "We started jamming," remembers Vic, "and Sam hired me on the spot."
The newly formed WaboRita's toured most of 1997 on the Marching to Mars world tour, which was a total joy for Vic. Now, he's most excited about the band's upcoming album, Red Voodoo. "This record is a departure from the last record," says Vic. "It's very funky in spots; very upbeat, party music. It's about fun, fun, fun." As for the temperament of the band itself, Vic couldn't be more pleased. "Everyone has input," he notes. "It's always about 'we' and 'us'. I'm really inspired by Sammy. To stand and play next to him is a very special thing for me."