Steffen Jungersen




Johnny Winter is dead, 70 years old, and with him we have lost another one of blues music's biggest

The penultimate time I saw Johnny Winter live (well, sort of), my heart sank and gave me an unsettling feeling in my stomach that this gifted guitarist would hardly survive much longer.

The venue was the Amager Bio in Copenhagen at the beginning of this millennium. Winter was more or less carried onto the stage and placed on a chair. He picked up his guitar and opened with a version of Muddy Waters' "Got My Mojo Working," which only served to emphasize that the magic, the song is about, was woefully absent. 
Johnny Winter was a shadow of himself - to the extent the weakened, emaciated albino on stage were able to cast a shadow at all. 
A few years later, Winter, however, was pulled away from the brink of the grave by his new manager and rhythm guitarist Paul Nelson, who stopped his abuse of methadone, pills and alcohol. Johnny according to Nelson had been on methadone for about 30 years after having been addicted to heroin early 1970s.

Back to life
Winter came back to life in 2005 and although he unfortunately only got nine more years of the same life, Johnny, thanks to Nelson's intervention, will at least be remembered for what he was indeed: 
A dazzling guitarist with a very personal tone and a love for old rock and roll and in particular "the blues" that even in the man's few weak musical moments shine through.

Johnny Winter has been with me throughout my musical life. From the first time I as a 12 year old borrowed "Live Johnny Winter And" from the local library until now as I look forward to what will now tragically become Johnny's swan song, the album "Roots 2", which include Eric Clapton, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top and Joe Perry of Aerosmith as guests.

For me personally, it was "Saints & Sinners" album (pictured), which 40 years ago, finally sold me to the guitar tour-de-force, as was the thin Texan at his best.

For example, the guitar solo in the terrific version of Jerry Williams '"Bony Moroney" to this day is one of my favorites when it comes dexterity on the fretboard - closely followed by the version and the solo on the version of the Stones' "Stray Cat Blues" , which are also to be found on said album.

But there is so much to enjoy and soothe your soul in this legend’s back catalogue. Not to mention in his work with another legend: Johnny Winter was the architect of his idol Muddy Waters' excellent comeback album "Hard Again" in 1977, Winter both produced and played on.

As recently as last month, Johnny Winter was asked if he’d achieved what he wanted in his career. Well, he would like to have a personal Grammy (he got one for his work with Muddy Waters, ed.), But ...
"Actually I just hope people will remember me as a good blues musician."

That you can rest assured that we will. 
Bye bye Johnny ...

May you rest in peace.


Dagens Sang



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