I knew John in those early days because we played on the same baseball team. He was the second baseman and I was the shortstop. He was a spray hitter and very fast. He also ran on the Our Lady of Fatima track team. I raced him in the 220 - he shot out to an early lead but then faded in the final turn. I burned him with my blazing speed!
He was a punk wise-guy when he was a kid. He got into a lot of fights and always held his own. Some of the kids called him "THUNDERHEAD".
When he picked up the guitar, he used to practice Pipeline in his garage. I lost track of him until someone mentioned that he was in the Dolls. I saw him once at Max's and after the gig when he was coming down the aisle, bouncing off the walls, I tapped him on the shoulder and said "Johnny Genzale from Jackson Heights". I told him who I was and he said "Yeah, I remember that name"...