Felice (b.1955) grew up in Natick, Massachusetts as a neighbor and friend of Jonathan Richman, a fellow fan of The Velvet Underground. As a 15-year old he joined Richman in the first line-up of The Modern Lovers in late 1970. He performed with the band intermittently between then and 1973, but because of his school commitments was not involved in the 1972 sessions which produced the classic first Modern Lovers album. Felice said: "Me and Jonathan, as close as we were, you know, I was like a punk, I was a wise-ass kid. I liked to do a lot of drugs, I liked to drink, and Jonathan was like this wide-eyed, no-drugs, ate nothing but health food...".
Felice then decided to start his own band, and formed The Real Kids (originally named The Kids), in 1972, with Rick Coraccio (bass), Steve Davidson (guitar), and Norman Bloom (drums). They became a successful live band in the Boston area, playing "an aggressive brand of straight-ahead, no-bullshit rock which harkened back to Chuck Berry, had overtones of the British Invasion groups at their mod finest, yet pointed the way towards the Punk to come". As well as Felice's own songs, they performed versions of classics by Eddie Cochran, Buddy Holly and others. The band did not record until 1977, when it comprised Felice, Billy Borgioli (guitar), Allen "Alpo" Paulino (bass), and Howie Ferguson (drums). Their only studio album, The Real Kids, was issued on the Red Star label in 1978.
While continuing to play occasionally with different versions of The Real Kids, Felice also worked for a time as a roadie for the Ramones. He also performed as part of the Taxi Boys in Boston. The Real Kids reformed to tour Europe and release a live album, Hit You Hard on French label New Rose in 1983. Band members Alpo Paulino and Billy Borgioli then left to form the Primitive Souls. In 1988, Felice formed a new band, John Felice and The Lowdowns, releasing an album "Nothing Pretty" on Norton Records.
The Real Kids re-united on several other occasions. They performed regularly in 1998-99, including a New York City New Year's gig. Bass player Alpo Paulino died on February 6, 2006.