Saturday, July 19, 2014

RIP Johnny Winter 1944-2014

A sad day on the sixteenth of July with the passing of blues guitar legend Johnny Winter. Johnny passed away in a hotel room in Switzerland while on tour. I have always been a big fan of Johnny Winter from my late teens. I got to see Johnny Winter four times in concert, the first time being in 1989 at the Dinwoodie Lounge here in Edmonton. What an amazing show it was too. I instantly hooked on his music after this performance. So fun, that my buddies pushed me home in a shopping cart, ya good times!!!

Flyer from the 1989 show.

I had also seen Johnny Winter play one of the worst concerts I had seen in my life. It was a show in Edmonton back in April of 2001 at a short lived blues club called the R&B Club. This show was a disaster, as Johnny was not in good shape at all. He could barely hold himself up, could barely play and kept wiping and blowing his nose through out the show. Not good. I honestly thought he was going to die on stage that night, and if not that night, I wasn't going to be surprised if I heard about his death in the near future. Really sad to watch actually.

Ticket stub from 2001 show.

Next time I saw him was at Polish Hall in Edmonton with David Gogo opening in 2007, this was a much much better show by the guitar legend. I believe this is about the time that his second guitarist of his band Paul Nelson took over in being Johnny's manager. His old manager Teddy Slatus was keeping him away from everyone that cared for him, including his own brother Edgar Winter. A huge shout out to Paul Nelson for re-invigorating Johnny health and career. Good job Paul.

This show was a great concert with Johnny playing and sounding good and most importantly looking healthier then the disastrous show on 2001.

Few pictures from the 2007 show.

The last time I got to see Johnny Winter perform was in 2011, again at Polish Hall with James Cotton opening. Talk about a blues legend double bill. This show too was excellent as Johnny and his band put on a great hour and a half show with Johnny playing like no one's business and his voice really sounding good. Sadly, this would be the last time I saw him play. Such a shame. Thank god for his music being out there. Rest In Peace Johnny Winter, you will be missed. You put out and performed some amazing music in your seventy years on this earth. Long Live The Blues!!!

Few pictures from the 2011 show.

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