About John Michael Karnatz


You can click on the Amazon or iTunes icons in the Discography section below to check it out and get your FREE listening samples for “Saturday Night” (or if you have a Spotify account, just click on the icon below to stream it....)

UPDATE: Here is the inspiration and back story behind “Saturday Night.”

I have always LOVED classic rock! Even back when I was a little kid and rock and roll was emerging, I loved Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard and all those guys. They helped popularize the rockabilly movement in the USA and the offshoot raggare/greaser culture in Sweden and other parts of Scandinavia. When Beatlemania hit the US, I was musically and emotionally enthralled. And when my older brother, Ray, became a teenage rock and roll “star” with the group “The Classmen” in the early to mid-1960’s, I was further mesmerized by the classic rock vibe.....the rockin’ guitars, kickin’ drums, solid melodies and vocal harmonies....WOW, what a sound and vibe!

My specific inspiration to write Saturday Night came when I saw a listing from a Music Supervisor who was looking for some classic rock songs for placement in a hit TV show on a major Broadcast Network. The Supervisor was looking for some fun, positive
songs that could put you in a good mood. Some of the classic rock stylists sound a-likes suggested were, Kiss (“I Wanna Rock & Roll All Night”), Poison (“Nothing but a Good Time”), but I also thought sounds from the Bob Seger Silver Bullet Band, Huey Lewis and the News, John Mellencamp and other artists were great classic rock examples.

I set about writing the song by first listening to some of my favorite classic rock groups and then coming up with a basic chorus part. I used my 1971 black Hofner electric guitar to hammer out a simple rhythm track (using my arranging adage “keep it simple but play it well” moto). My Fender Squire Stratocaster electric guitar came in handy when I did the Chuck Berryish lead guitar parts. When it came to back-up vocals, my wife, Pam, and I had an especially fun time belting out the “I’m going out....Saturday Night” post chorus parts. All in all, it was great experience to write and record this classic rocker.

The cool thing about classic rock is---- it transcends age. You can be 16 or 86 and still be a rockin’, unabashed fan.

Remember…...just have fun with it!

Please leave any comments or questions you may have (and your email for direct updates) in the sections below. Thanks for your continued interest and support....and don't forget to like or follow me on Spotify,etc., if it so moves you!


John Michael Karnatz is a veteran musician and songwriter who has played in numerous bands in the northern Illinois area. His musical roots lie in classic rock of the 1960’s to 1980’s. John is currently focusing on writing songs to help meet the licensing needs of the film, television, advertising, and recording industries.

If you see John cruising down Main Street with the windows down, you’ll probably hear some Eagles, Bob Seger, Beatles, Rolling Stones, Cars, Cheap Trick, Doobie Brothers, Tom Petty or Bon Jovi music blaring away. But you might also hear some Ed Sheeran, Jason Isbell, John Mayer, or Beck filling the air. John sings and plays guitar, bass, harmonica, and some boogie-woogie piano.

One of John's earliest successes occurred while he was serving in the US Army and stationed in West Berlin. After winning the Berlin Brigade Show Band Contest with his band "Haze," he was assigned to Special Services and played in the First Annual Original Magnificent Special Services Showband Contest held in Mannheim, Germany. One of the contest judges was KURT LODER, who wrote for the Overseas Weekly at that time. Haze finished second in the contest.

While John does not turn a deaf ear to changing musical sounds, much of his current writing remains influenced by his musical family background and his classic rock roots. The use of tight vocal harmonies and a fat rhythm guitar continue to be earmarks in many songs written by John. He currently resides in Park Ridge, Illinois.

Return to profile