The Johnny Winter Story

Johnny Winter in 1988

Press Release from Slatus Management

Johnny Winter Timeline 1988

 This page covers Johnny Winter in 1988, use the links below to quickly jump to the year: 1980 , 1981 , 1982 , 1983 , 1984 , 1985 , 1986 , 1987 , 1988 , 1989 .

Press release by Slatus Management for the release of "Winter of 88".

Johnny Winter is an American music legend. A recording artist for some 28 years he burst from the Texas bar scene in the late 60's to become an archetypal rock guitar hero. He remains the perfect example of the hard-working, no-nonsense artist who's built his career on substance, rather than image. Fashions come and go, but Johnny Winter continues to create his original blues/hard rock blend as only he can. The release of Winter of '88, his debut LP for the MCA distributed Voyager label, clearly demonstrates that the guitarist's touch has only improved with time. More over, the LP presents Winter in a musical setting that spruces up his sound without losing the grit and sweat that are essential to his style. Produced by Terry Manning of ZZ Top fame, Winter of '88 is an album of raw power, virtuosity and across-the-board impact. Winter renders the LP's tunes (including both new material and blues clasics) with lean ferocious simplicity. Backing him are Jon Paris on bass and Tom Compton on drums, players who've toured with him for years. The sparse, direct and contemporary feel of the tracks lets Winter and his group shine through brilliantly.

"It was real important to find a producer who thought the same way I did," Winter says. "Terry had done a lot of blues work as well as rock 'n roll, which attracted me in the first place. I felt that he was aware of how to get a modern sound but at the same time he would also understand my direction. The idea was not to change my music, just to reach a bigger audience." Standout LP tracks such as "Rain" (a moody song of romantic longing), "Lightning" (a steamy rocker with killer slide work) and "Anything For Your Love" (a slow churning love plea) should both delight Winter loyalists and make new converts. If Winter of '88 reaches out to a wide segment of rock listeners, it does so without strain or compromise. Johnny Winter testifies as guitarist and vocalist with the integrity and deep emotion that have always been present through his decades of making music. Winter became a professional musician at the age of 14 when he and his keyboard wizard brother Edgar formed Johnny and the Jammers, in their hometown of Beaumont, Texas. Already Johnny's rock 'n roll was steeped in the blues from years of listening to Beaumont's black radio station and hanging out with Clarence Garlow, a local DJ and blues guitarist. Johnny and the Jammers were a local phenomenon, winning talent shows and eventually a recording contract with the Dart label. Their first single, "Schoolday Blues", was released when Johnny was 15. more...

From that time on, Johnny was a regular in the Houston and Beaumont recording studios, cutting dozens of tunes as both a leader and sideman. When he wasn't in the studio he was barnstorming the Deep South club circuit, playing everything from hard blues to cocktail jazz and Top 40 tunes. His singles, cut for dozens of little labels, were often leased to majors like MGM and Atlantic. They earned plenty of local radio play but didn't break nationally. Finally, in 1968, Winter committed himself to playing the blues, forming a trio with Tommy Shannon on base and Uncle John Turner on drums. Discouraged with performing around Texas, he was investigating the music scene in England when a cover story in Rolling Stone made him a celebrity overnight. After a furious bidding war, he was signed to Columbia and proceeded to unleash a series of classic blues rock LPs. Johnny Winter and Second Winter were cut with his original blues trio plus brother Edgar, while Johnny Winter And and and Johnny Winter And Live (the latter his best-selling LP) featured Rick Derringer on second guitar. In 1973 he returned to a more direct blues sound with Still Alive and Well, followed by Saint and Sinners in '74 In 1977 Winter fulfilled a lifelong dream by producing Muddy Waters for his new label, the CBS distributed Blue Sky Records. Hard Again was a comeback album for Muddy, an album that returned him to his Chicago blues band roots. Both Hard Again and the following Waters LP I'm Ready won Grammy Awards. "Working with Muddy made me feel people were finally more...

Realizing that I'm not faking and can really play the blues", Winter says. "I felt I'd established myself." Winter's own music continued to explore the nuances of the blues in its varied forms. Signing with Alligator Records, he released a series of much praised LPs, including the Grammy nominated Guitar Slinger (1984) and Serious Business (1985). Third Degree (1986) completed his trio of Alligator albums. In addition to recording and producing, Winter has maintained a heavy touring schedule over the past decade, appearing in arenas, roadhouses and everywhere in between. "For the last two or three years I've been on the road at least eight to nine months a year," he reports. "Besides the States, we've been to Europe, Australia and Canada. We go everywhere people want to see us, from festivals to college gigs, you name it." "A lot of new people have been showing up," he continues. "I meet kids who are 15 and 16 years old, loyal fans who first heard our records from their older brothers and sisters and sometimes their parents. And, of course, I see the old fans who've never stopped being into the blues." What Winter brings to old and young fans alike is his unequivocal passion for music. "The older I get, the more I seem to love it," he says. "It's like eating and sleeping --it's a necessity for me. The blues may come in and out of fashion, but I just keep playing what I love and hope that others love it too."

 

KBFH show during the "Winter of 88" tour.

This radio show starts off with the KBFH announcer saying "from the stage of the Hollywood Palace Johnny Winter". He does a long instrumental jam (it's great) and then goes into "I'm Good". "Stranger Blues" is also one of the songs.

Johnny Winter leaves Alligator records and signs with MCA/Voyager.

Movie Soundtrack: The Accused 1988

Mojo Boogie by Johnny Winter

Starring: Jodie Foster

Synopsis: A District Attorney represents a woman who was brutally gang raped in a bar while male patrons watched and encouraged the rapists.

 

Riverwalk Blues Festival, Fort Lauderdale Fl.

Beacon Theatre.

Copa Club, Canada.

The Palace, Hollywood, Cal.

Tuesday, 23 February 1988: Chestnut Cabaret, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

  1. Hideaway
  2. I'm Good
  3. That's Alright
  4. Help Me
  5. Rock Me Baby
  6. Serious As A Heart Attack
  7. Mojo Boogie
  8. Rollin' And Tumblin"
  9. Johnny B Goode
  10. Boot Hill
  11. Wildwood Flower

Guitar world, March 1988

A special Hendrix issue where Johnny is pictured with Jimi on page 31 "Holding court with Johnny Winter, backstage at Madison Quare Garden, January 28, 1970"

 

Friday, 29 April 1988: Airport Hall, Allentown PA

  1. Hideaway
  2. Rock Me Baby
  3. Don't Take Advantage Of Me
  4. Red House
  5. Serious As A Heart Attack
  6. Mojo Boogie
  7. Shake Your Moneymaker
  8. I'm Good
  9. Instrumental

 

Friday, 1 July 1988: Piazza Duomo, Pistoia, Italy.

Other bands in this blues festival include Steve Ray Vaughan, Blues Brothers Reunion Band, Rufus Thomas. Ron Wood, Bo Didley, John Lee Hooker, Otish Rush, Magic Slim, Louisiana Red, Zoot Money and many, many others

This show has been broadcasted on TV by the Italian RAI Duo

Johnny Winter Live in 1988 Bluesin88 Blues Festival in 1988 Pistoia Italy
    Setlist
  1. Honky Tonk
  2. Rock me baby
  3. Don't take advantage of me
  4. Early in the morning or one room country shack [Johnny presents Jon Paris on "Mississipi Saxophone", a harmonica]
  5. Serious as a heart attack
  6. Mojo Boogie
  7. Shake your moneymaker
  8. Johnny Be Goode
  9. Jumpin Jack Flash
  10. Wildwood flower

Johnny Winter 1 Jul 1988 Piazza Duomo, Pistoia, Italy

Photo Gallery of this fantasic concert in Pistoia 1988

Monday, 4 July 1988 - Milan Blues Festival, Arco Della Pace, Milan, Italy

  1. Succotash
  2. Rock me baby
  3. Don't take advantage of me
  4. Red house
  5. Serious as a heart attack (with drum solo)
  6. Mojo boogie
  7. Shake your money maker
  8. Johnny b. goode
  9. 1st encore: It's all over now final. Encores, played non-stop:
  10. Wildwood flower
  11. Boot hill
  12. Okie dokie stomp

Saturday, 6 August 1988: Pier #84 NY

  1. Hideaway
  2. Rock Me Baby
  3. Don't Take Advantage Of Me(w/Gimme Shelter Inst. ending)
  4. Love Her With A Feeling
  5. Serious As A Heart Attack
  6. Mojo Boogie
  7. Shake Your Moneymaker
  8. Johnny B Goode
  9. Stranger Blues

Tuesday, 23 August 1988: Toad's Place, New Haven, Connecticut

  1. Hideaway
  2. Rock Me Baby
  3. Don't Take Advantage Of Me
  4. Looking For Trouble
  5. Serious As A Heart Attack
  6. Mojo Boogie
  7. Stranger Blues
  8. Ain't That Just Like A Woman
  9. Mother Earth
  10. It's All Over Now
  11. Boot Hill
  12. Wildwood Flower

31 August 1988 Jai Alai Fronton: Johnny Winter sith special guests James Cotton and James Montgomery

Movie Soundtrack: Strangers in Town 1988

STRANGERS IN TOWN is a documentary about albinos which considers both the medical and social aspects of albinism. The film attempts to overcome the prejudices and misconceptions people have toward albinos. Personalities appearing in the film include blues/rock singer Johnny Winter.

Johnny sings the song 'Stranger' over the opening and closing credits. It was recorded in a hotel room at 2AM in Hamilton, Ontario, just for the film, with Johnny on acoustic guitar.

Produced by: Lois Siegel Productions Inc. and Bryan Oldford, with
the assistance of The National Film Board of Canada
Camera: Ron Hallis
Music: Andre Vincelli
Editor: Lois Siegel
Sound: Gabor Vadnay, Albert Ohayon, Gordon Thompson,
Claude Hazanavicius, Ron Hallis, Don Cohen, Robert
Gibson
Narrator: Don Winkler

 

Monday, 19 September 1988: Highlands, Cambridge, Ontario, Canada

  1. Succotash
  2. I'm good
  3. Llooking for trouble
  4. Don't take advantage of me
  5. Mojo boogie
  6. Stranger blues
  7. Medley: mother earth / the things that I've used to do / mother earth
  8. Ain't just like a woman [with a Chuck Berry's guitar riff at beginning]
  9. Boot hill 10. it's all over now

Tuesday, 20 September 1988: Diamond Club, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

  1. Ssuccotash
  2. I'm good
  3. Don't take advantage of me
  4. Looking for trouble
  5. Mmojo boogie
  6. Stranger blues
  7. Johnny b. goode
  8. Bboot hill
  9. It's all over now
  10. Mmother earth
  11. Mmedley: hold it / okie dokie stomp

Wednesday, 21 September 1988: Dr. Rockits, London, Ontario, Canada

    Setlist
  1. Rock me baby
  2. Don't take advantage of me [great!!]
  3. Mother earth
  4. Mojo boogie
  5. Stranger blues
  6. I'm good
  7. Boot hill
  8. Jumpin' jack flash
  9. Going to New York [rare rendition of Jimmy Reed's classic]

Thursday, 22 September 1988: Entex, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

    Setlist:
  1. Honky tonky
  2. I'm good
  3. Love her with a feeling
  4. Serious as a heartattack
  5. Bony moronie
  6. Drum solo
  7. Bony moronie (reprise)
  8. Mojo boogie
  9. Stranger blues
  10. Ain't that just like a woman
  11. Sweet papa john
  12. Johnny b. goode

Saturday, 24 September 1988: Lost Horizons, Syracuse, New York

    Setlist:
  1. Honky tonk
  2. I'm good
  3. Mother earth
  4. Don't advantage of me
  5. Jumpin' jack flash
  6. Serious as a heart attack
  7. Mojo boogie
  8. Stranger blues
  9. Little queenie
  10. Boot hill
  11. Johnny b. goode

Relix, Oct 1988

Johnny Winter on the Front Cover of Relix Magazine October 1988

 

Sunday, 9 October 1988 Billy's Old Mill, Greenfield, Wisconsin

    Setlist:
  1. Succotash
  2. I'm good
  3. Mother earth
  4. Don't take advantage of me
  5. Mojo boogie
  6. Stranger blues
  7. Little queenie [Jon Paris on guitar & vocals, Johnny on bass]
  8. Boot hill
  9. Ain't just like a woman
  10. Rain [ one of the lost pearls from "Winter of 88", without any cheesy post-production, raw as Johnny would like to be released. The true highlight of this show - 7 minutes long ]
  11. It's all over now

Thursday, 20 October 1988: Rockafellars, Houston, Texas

    Setlist:
  1. Succotash
  2. I'm good
  3. Mother earth
  4. Don't take advantage of me
  5. Mojo boogie
  6. Stranger blues
  7. Ain't just like a woman
  8. Johnny b. goode
  9. Boot hill
  10. It's all over now
  11. Wildwood flower [with full parts of "serious as a heart attack" instrumental in the middle]

Wednesday, 2 November 1988: Finky's Daytona Beach, Fla

Friday, 2 December 1988 FILLMORE in SF, CA

 

 

On 2 Dec 1988 Johnny Winter, John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, Chester D.

Johnny Winter, John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, Chester D.

 

Tuesday, 13 December 1988: The Palace, Hollywood, Los Angeles (recorded for King Biscuit Flower Hour)

    Setlist:
  1. Succotash
  2. I'm good
  3. Mother Earth
  4. Don't take advantage of me
  5. Boney moronie
  6. Drum solo
  7. Mojo boogie
  8. Stranger blues
  9. Serious as a heart attack
  10. Johnny b. goode
  11. Please come home for christmas
  12. It's all over now
  13. Okie Dokie Stomp

Friday, 16 December 1988 - San Juan Capistrano, California

    Setlist
  1. Succotash
  2. Rock me baby
  3. Love me with a feeling
  4. Ain't just like a woman
  5. Serious as a heart attack
  6. Mojo boogie
  7. Stranger blues
  8. Please come home for Christmas
  9. Run Rudolph run
  10. Boot hill

Musik Express/Sounds Rock-Lexikon America

Biography of Johnny Winter

Transcript of the MusikExpress/Sounds Magazin

In der Spielweise von Johnny Winter erkannten viele seiner Anhänger die gefühlvolle Technik eines B. B. King und den intensiven, elektrisierenden Rock von Jimi Hendrix. Trotz einiger umstrittener und höchst mittelmäßiger Projekte ist Winters Name seit zwei Jahr-zehnten Synonym für einen Bluesrock-Gitarristen der Extraklasse. Seine Entwicklung brachte ihn in den letzten Jahren den traditionellen, spartanischen Blues-Formeln immer näher. Rauh und ungekünstelt verstand es der »weißeste Blues-Gitarrist der Geschichte« (NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS), über ein enormes Einfühlungsvermögen diese schwarze Musik nachzuempfinden und authentisch um-zusetzen.

Eine Fähigkeit, die man Interpreten mit weißer Hautfarbe normalerweise absprach. Geboren am 23. Februar 1944 in Leland, Mississippi, und aufgewachsen im texanischen Beaumont, zeigte der 5jährige Johnny zu-nächst Interesse für die Klarinette, wechselte anschließend zur Ukulele und hielt im Alter von elf Jahren erstmals eine Gitarre in den Händen. Gemeinsam mit dem jüngeren Bruder -' Edgar Winter spielte er in verschiedenen Schulbands und trat unter Namen wie »lt & Them« und »Black Plague« auf. 1962 brach Johnny Winter ein Studium am »Lamar Technical College« ab und trampte nach Chicago, um den Blues zu erleben.

Er frequentierte die einschlägigen Clubs und spielte u. a. mit Mike Bloomfield und -. Barry Goldberg. Zurück in Texas wurde erneut sein Bruder ein langjähriger Partner. Nur unterbrochen von einer Phase in Houston, Texas, wo Johnny Winter mit Tommy Shannon (b) und 'Uncle' John Turner (dr) ein Blues-Trio bildete. 1968 nahm der ROLLING STONE Notiz von der Band und beschrieb Winter als den »schielenden Albino mit dem langen, flockigen Haar, der die stürmischste Bluesgitarre spielt, die man je gehört hat.« Steve Paul, der Besitzer des New Yorker Clubs »The Scene«, las den Artikel, flog nach Texas und nahm Winter unter Vertrag.

Der Kontrakt zu einer Plattenfirma ließ nicht lange auf sich warten und 1969 kam das Album »Johnny Winter« auf den Markt. Frühere Aufnahmen erschienen nach dem Top 30-Erfolg dieser Platte unter Titeln wie »Early Times«, »First Winter« und »About Blues«. Zu den Gästen der ersten offiziellen Platte - »The Progressive Blues Experiment« bestand aus Demo-Bändern - zählten neben Edgar Winter die Bluesgrößen -' Willie Dixon und Walter 'Shakey' Norton, die ihre helle Freude an Winters Verständnis für die Wurzeln des Blues hatten.

Wenige Monate später produzierte der »kundigste weiße Blues-Gitarrist« (ROLLING STONE) das Doppelalbum »Second Winter«, von dem eine LP-Seite unbespielt blieb. t r eigene Songs und Cover Versionen von -- Little Richard (»Slips ,nd Slidin'«), - Chuck Berry (»Johnny B. Goode«) und - Bob Dylan (»Highway 61 Revisited«) vermittelte Winter diesmal seine Hardrock-Vorliebe (ohne den Blues je aus dem Blickfeld zu verlieren). Als Edgar Winter eigene Pläne im Kopf hatte, trennte sich Johnny von seinen Begleitern und tat sich mit den ehemaligen - »McCoys« zusammen, denen das Gitarren-Talent Rick Derringer vorstand.

Derringer blieb nicht nur Mitglied für zwei LP's der neugeschaffenen »And«, sondern unterstützte Johnny Winter außerdem als Produzent seiner Platten und half ihm später bei seinen Comeback-Unternehmungen. Während die knallharte Rock-Blues-LP »And« nur wenig Käufer fand, kletterte der Mitschnitt »And Live« in höchste Charts-Regionen und erlangte Gold-Status, obwohl die Platte nicht nur wegen des »abwechslungslosen Gesangs« (SOUNDS) enttäuschte. Die wachsende Popularität, die ausverkauften Konzerthallen und das ständige Lob in den Musikmedien verkraftete Johnny Winter nur schwer.

Der hektische Lebenswandel und das Herion brachten ihn schließlich ins Krankenhaus. Zwei Jahre benötigte Winter, um sich einigermaßen zu erholen. Für »Still Alive And Well« engagierte er Randy Jo Hobbs (b) und Richard Hughes (dr). Als prominente Gäste halfen -- Todd Rundgren und der Jazz-Flötist Jeremy Steig. »Sein kerniger Bluesrock«, schrieb SOUNDS, »klingt noch genauso unverbraucht wie früher.« Das Songmaterial bestand u. a. aus einem eigens für ihn von Mick Jagger und Keith Richards komponierten Titel (»Silver Train«), einer weiteren »Rolling Stones«-Adaption (»Let lt Bleed«) und dem Bluesklassiker »Rock Me Baby« von 'Big Boy' Arthur Crudup.

Nach »Still Alive« stabilisierten sich die Leistungen von Winter. »Saints And Sinners« wurde als »eines seiner letzten großen Alben« (ROLLING STONE) eingeschätzt. Über seine 74er Europa-Tournee - bei der Floyd Radford als zweiter Gitarrist eine Bereicherung darstellte - urteilte die FAZ: »Wie er seine Improvisationen über dem unverwüstlichen Kadenzschema aufbaut, die Technik, die ihm dabei zu Gebote steht - das ist ein-malig. Jeder einzelne Durchlauf der zwölftaktigen Harmoniefolge (Chorus) ist ein kleines, in sich abgeschlossenes Kunstwerk«. Ende '74 gab Johnny Winters Gesundheitszustand erneut Anlaß zur Besorgnis.

Wieder mußte er sich für 18 Monate zurückziehen. Seine Plattenfirma überbrückte die Pause mit »Captured Live!«. Mit Bruder Edgar, der ihn in den Charts längst überflügelt hatte, nahm er 1976 seine Lieblingssongs für die LP »Together« auf. Die Umsätze blieben mäßig und verschlechterten sich bei den folgen-den Tonträgern. Seine enge Freundschaft zu -. Muddy Waters äußerte sich erstma lig 1977. Wate, -teilte ihm für »Nothin' But The Blues« seine exquisite Band zur ügung und wirkte als Gastsolist mit. Im Gegenzug produzierte

Winter bis 1981 drei LP's von Waters und trat sporadisch in dessen Live-Gruppe auf. Winter tourte regelmäßig mit eigener, häufig umbesetzter Formation, doch als 1981 sein Plattenvertrag nicht verlängert wurde, schwand das Interesse der Öffentlichkeit an dem »meisterhaft gespielten, traditionellen, schnörkellosen und erotisierenden Blues« (STEREO). Hin und wieder tauchte er in den Studios auf und unter-stützte Edgar Winter, Dan Hartman, Michael McDonald, Neil Sedaka und Nils Lofgren. Das Folk- und Blues-Label »Alligator« gab ihm 1984 eine neue Plattenchance, Johnny Winter konnte für »Guitar Slinger« erstklassige Texas-Blues-Musiker wie Bassist Johnny B. Gayden und Drummer Casey Jones von der - Albert Collins-Band »Icebreakers« und Keyboarder Ken Saydak (Lonnie Brooks) gewinnen.

Johnny Winter zog auch auf den folgenden Alben »Serious Business« und »3rd Degree« »alle Register innerhalb urbaner Blues-Stile« (JAll PODIUM). Für »3rd Degree« brachte Winter mit Shannon (1983/84 aktiv für Stevie Ray Vaughan) und Turner sein Team von 1969 wieder zusammen.

THE PROGRESSIVE BLUES EXPERIMENT (1969) Sunset 50264 * JOHNNY WINTER (1969) CBS 63619 * SECOND WINTER (1969) CBS 66231 * AND (1970) CBS 64117 * ... AND LIVE (1970) CBS 64289 * STILL ALIVE AND WELL (1973) CBS 65484 * SAINTS AND SINNERS (1974) CBS 65842 * JOHN DAWSON WINTER (1974) CBS 80586 * CAPTURED LIVE (1976) Blue Sky 69230 * NOTHIN' BUT THE BLUES (1977) Blue Sky 82141 * WHITE, HOT & BLUE (1978) Blue Sky 82963 * RAISIN' CAIN (1980) Blue Sky 84103 * GUITAR SLINGER (1984) Sonet, INT 147.144 * SERIOUS BUSINESS (1985) Sonet, INT 147.150 * 3RD DEGREE (1986) Sonet, INT 147.156 * THE WINTER OF '88 (1988) MCA 255 932-1 * (S) FIRST WINTER (1969) Buddah, BDS 7513 * (S) EARLY TIMES (1969) Bellaphon, BLPS 19023 * (S) ABOUT BLUES (1969) Bellaphon, BLPS 19031 * Mit Edgar Winter: TOGETHER (1976) Blue Sky 81338

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