I started hearing rumors on the interwebs last night that Johnny Winter had died, but couldn’t find any confirmation until this morning.
At the age of 70, he was still playing and rocking in a world tour. He will be missed and mourned by many.
I first became aware of Johnny and his younger brother Edgar when I was fifteen years old in the summer of 1966. I was on a long summer driving vacation with my parents and middle brother. We had driven down to S.La. to visit relatives in and around Baton Rouge and NOLA. While my parents went into Pat O’Brien’s we sat on the curb outside Preservation Hall listening to those great old jazz musicians while munching corn on the cob.
We then drove across to the Mississippi coast, staying in Gulfport for a few days and visiting the surrounding area, drove up through Starkville and Hattiesburg, then made it to Vicksburg and visited the park and war memorial.
From there we drove down to Houston to visit with my oldest brother, who was on a full ride at UofH as a QB. He was happy to be with us all again in his environment and invited us all to join him at his favorite night club, the Act III, that night to see this amazing band with two albino brothers.
Being under age, my parents had to do some fast and smooth talking to get my brother and I inside. Once inside we had a big table to accommodate us and many of my big bruh’s friends who came by.
I had never been inside a night club/bar before and was quite wide-eyed, observing how every one behaved and interacted, but mostly I couldn’t take my eyes off of the two brothers playing their hearts out.
To this day I can still visualize that night and Johnny wailing on his guitar. I was not surprised with his becoming famous just a few years later.
Day by day, the iconic musicians of my youth are leaving us.
Be at peace, Johnny, you will always be remembered.
Fantastic piece at Gibson Guitar, Johnny Winter Remembered.