Friday, July 18, 2014

Johnny Winter dies at 70

This short comment is meant to cut the mood of the previous one.  How could a death do that?

Johnny Winter led a full life, and as a white, albino white, blues guitarist and at his beginning of fame in the early 1960's he was paralleled by few.  Seeing him performing with his hometown mate Janis Joplin, seeing them in a wet south Florida field at midnight in the late 1960's, was to see a manic performance of bottles on the stage and what at the time was incredible music.  Joplin outperformed him by far, but she poured for them both as she and Johnny played.  It was a close in setting, a few feet away,  andfor those adept at crowd jostling it seemed like being one with it all.

That was the high  point.  He was seen at Jazzfest in New Orleans at least a couple of times in the late 80's and early 90's and at a club in Manhattan in the mid-nineties, and this former big man looked as if he weighed no more than 100 pounds.  He and others that I got to know as performer at Jazzfest got to known here as vodka legs.

That's a joke, I guess but here meant many of the real old ones in town.  Little did I know of his later performances and that he, closer to age here, would join this generation before faltering.

In recent years his sound was no longer inventive and he played on his reputation and the fact that his fast licks on the guitar were ones that few could follow.  The fans came and he could deliver.  Wish I would have seen him in a club this year.

When I saw his obit yesterday there was a moment of remembrance, but more of an amazement that he was still on the road playing at age 70, with already laid plans for more.  Perhaps some good music was missed here as he evolved in later life as he probably did.  Did he ever record acoustic?


Blogger John Borden said...

See comment on above post for one that must relate to this one.

4:52 PM  

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