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Back Alley John (born John Carl David Wilson), (February 10, 1955 – June 22, 2006) was a Canadian blues singer, songwriter and harmonica player. Beginnings, 1969-1971: Ottawa to Venice, California Born into a strict military family in Ottawa, Ontario, the young John Wilson rebelled and ran away from home, travelling to Venice Beach, California at the age of 14 in a stolen truck. He stayed in Venice for approximately two years, making a living as a busking harmonica player, and it was in Venice that he acquired the name "Back Alley John". As his brother, Peter Wilson, recalls, "When he got (to Venice), he needed money and he had been playing harmonica since he was little, so he started busking. The street people there kind of took him under their wing and they said 'Listen John, you can't busk on the street 'cause you'll get arrested. You've gotta busk in the back alleys.' So he busked in the back alleys of Venice for a couple of years and that's how he was named Back Alley...
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