Sunday, 7 January 2001, Johnny's Dad dies:
John D. Winter
Jr., 91, of Beaumont died Jan. 7, 2001, at Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital.
A graveside service will be at 3 p.m. today at Evergreen Cemetery in Orange
under the direction of Broussard's Mortuary in Beaumont.
A native of Leland, Miss., he lived in Beaumont 54 years and was a retired
home builder and World War II U.S. Army veteran. Survivors include his wife,
Edwina Holland Winter of Beaumont; sons, John D. "Johnny'' Winter III of Conn.,
and Edgar Winter
Friday, 23 February 2001: The Birthday Show, Northampton, Massachusetts
- Got my mojo working
- Sick and Tired
- She likes to boogie
- Blackjack Game
- The Sun is Shining
- Going Down
- Johnny Guitar
- Drop the Bomb
26 Feb 2001 Harper's Ferry in Allston, Mass
Hi I checked out Your website-Excellent! I just wanted
to let You know I that I saw Johnny Winter in concert last night at Harper's
Ferry in Allston, Mass. which is in Boston. His guitar work was unbelievable!
The only thing I didn't like was that the guitar drowned
out his voice-You couldn't hear what He was singing. He started off with
the Laser and did most of the tunes off Live in N.Y.C. including Black Jack,Boogies
real low, Mojo working, Johnny Guitar, and then He played a copuple of slide
tunes on the Gibson Firebird! I was hoping He would play more of this guitar.
He played for about an hour and twenty minutes. I was a little concerned with
His looks. He looked very frail and had to be helped on to the stage with using
a cane. I have seen Him three times, this was the first I ever saw Him have
to use a cane. He also was on a stool at least half of the show. Is He suffering
from some thing or did He have a stroke? He looks like He has aged very fast.
I hope He is alright, Johnny Winter will always be one of My favorite guitar
Take care, Bob P.
Friday, 2 March 2001: The Stone Pony, New Jersey
Friday, 6 April 2001: Royal Oak Michigan
Royal Oak Michigan
I attended the April 6, 2001 concert at the Royal Oak Music
Theatre. As mentioned in previous reviews, Johnny indeed looked frail and had
obvious trouble walking onto the stage. He used a cane to walk and had to be
assisted by a companion with a flashlight whenever he moved. He appears to be
suffering from a prior hip injury and his vision is obviously compromised. Unfortunately,
I think that this deterioration of his physical condition leads many people
to believe that his musical skills are slipping as well. I am not of that opinion.
Although I am not a guitar aficionado, I do know my Johnny Winter music and
can say, aside from a few miscues in the first song (due to nerves?), that Johnny's
guitar work was superb. He appeared almost effortless on stage while playing
in a manner that few musicians could duplicate. To me, that was impressive.
The song selections consisted for the most part of the "typical" concert repertoire
featured and listed in recent reviews with the addition of the rock standard
"Going Down" during which his drummer supplied the primary vocals. The only
disappointing aspects of the evening for me were the terrible acoustics of the
Royal Oak Theatre and his return for only a single encore. The solid stone walls
and ceiling of the building reverberated throughout the evening and lessened
the quality of his performance. The crowd was extremely enthusiastic and appreciative
of his efforts. Most stood in front of the stage throughout the entire 80 minutes
he was on stage. I would have hoped that Johnny would have responded in kind
with another encore number, but he did not. Johnny sat for much of the concert
on a stool and didn't sing as much as I would have expected so it may have simply
been a question of endurance. All in all, an excellent evening with Johnny Guitar.
Tuesday, 17 April
2001: Legends, Victoria
I just saw Johnny Winter for the third or was it the fourth
time, at Legends in Victoria, BC, Canada (April 17, 2001). Two of us taped,
and one took pictures from 4 feet back of the stage. I went to see one of the
9 best guitar players I've ever seen (I've seen Hendrix, Zappa, Clapton, Beck,
Page, McLaughlin, DiMeola, Vai, not to mention many other greats) and I was
shocked and saddened. The legend was there in front of us but - what happened?
He had lost it almost totally. The sound was there from the Firebird and the
Laser, but the word I got was that he had had a stroke last November and that
he was on tour against doctor's orders. That would be the only explanation for
his playing and singing. I've been a fan since I heard first pressings of Progressive
Blues Experiment and Johnny WInter, and when I saw him in the seventies and
eighties..wow!! But two nights ago, he could barely play, he found the main
notes only sometimes on guitar and barely kept time with his great rhythm section.
His vocals weren't as gravelly as usual, they were distant and listening to
the tapes out of tune too. The phenomenal picking was gone, and the rhythm section
had to lead the song arrangement as he could hardly move to look at them.. Johnny,
everyone who went to the show loves you and wishes you a speedy recovery. We're
glad you came to Victoria. Get better, and even if you don't, we'll always remember
you for who you were. Godspeed, you've been the greatest blues player, all the
Wednesday, 18 April 2001: Commodore Ballroom/ HOB, Vancouver
Commodore Ballroom/ HOB, Vancouver
I just saw Johnny Winter at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver
and was completely saddened by it. Johnny's place in the world of blues/rock
guitar is secure. No one who saw him at his peak could argue otherwise. I had
the privilege of opening for him in 1997 at the Commodore and the man was still
on top of his game. However, seeing him in the shape he is in was very disheartening.
First, he should not be on the road charging money to see
him play when in fact he can't any longer for what ever the reasons. Yes, he
has had life long addiction problems and I am sure a variety of other aliments,
but that cannot be used as an excuse to go out and charge people money. Whoever
is responsible in allowing this to happen (I.a. his manager) knows full well
that his fans are being ripped off big time and the mans dignity is being destroyed.
It is obvious to anyone that he is beyond his playing abilities and should not
allow his legendary status to be tarnished by uncaring music business types.
I am and will continue to consider myself a Johnny Winter
fan, but I will never attend another show. If his management really wants what's
best for Johnny, then call together his many friends in the music world and
have a fund raising benefit for him. The who's who of the guitar world would
be there in a second for this man who has given us so much.
Fri 20 Apr 2001 Portland, Oregon
Johnny played the Aladdin Theater in Portland, Oregon on
April 20 to a near sell-out crowd, who paid $30 each to get in. I've been a
big fan since the late sixties, but hadn't seen him play live in close to fifteen
years. What I saw was not what I expected, and I was shocked by Johnny's condition.
His eyesight was always marginal, but now he is also very frail and hunched
over, could only walk very slowly with a cane, and sat motionless on a stool
for most of the show. My impression was that he has had a stroke or other serious
debilitating illness. His singing was weak and although his guitar tone was
good (mostly due to the equipment he was using), his guitar playing was only
a shadow of its former glory. The speed and the blazing solos were gone, his
timing was way off, and he frequently missed notes--either hitting entirely
wrong notes or missing the hammer-ons and hammer-offs, fast triplets, etc. All
he really appeared able to still do on guitar was riff the chord changes on
rhythm. To his credit, the young rhythm section he had with him was hot, and
carried the show. The only real bright spot in the show were the couple songs
that he played slide on his Firebird, and a respectable version of his theme
song, Johnny Guitar. In the end, I was more saddened than disappointed. I completely
agree with Matt and Fred, who reviewed the two BC shows: Johnny's legendary
status is secure, but I think he's being misrepresented by his management, who
shouldn't be charging fans the kind of money they're asking to see him play,
without any forewarning regarding his current health and condition. I've seen Muddy
Waters , Johnny Shines, Robert Jr. Lockwood, and other well known blues
artists when they were either ill or past their prime, but I always went to
those shows more or less knowing what to expect, and as a result those artists
were treated with the respect they deserved and maintained their own dignity
in the process. If Johnny really needs the money that badly, there are plenty
of musicians who owe their careers to Johnny's groundbreaking style of electric
Texas blues-rock, who should be more than willing to donate their talents to
21 Apr 2001 Ballard FireHouse, Seatle
Caught the tail end of JW's performance at the Ballard
FireHouse in Seattle last night (Sat, April 21, 2001). Let me fling out some
random observations since I did not catch the whole show. Physically, yes, there's
some real problems there: the glass cane, the on-stage/off-stage help required;
the scary lack of affect, the spuer-frail luminous frame; something is going
on against doctors orders. I've got to agree with Matt - who saw JW in Canada
just a few days before...
Musically: yes, missed notes and some uncoordinated playing.
But here's the mysterious thing (and I think I am echoing just about every review
posting from 1997 onwards): even playing slow and safe and bit awkward, JW is
wonderful to listen to. I know classical, rock, jazz and latin musicians and
they all have a code word to describe guitar playing they respect: "musical".
Is it "musical?" the all ask. In other words does it flow, is it free, is it
techincally accomplished, is it imaginative and - does in combine all of these
to send you to a special space - that, I think, is the musician's definition
of "musical." Johnny is nothing if not musical.
Compared to Johnny, the millions of notes laid down by
Al, Joe, Steve, seem like so much sound. It must be really frustrating for these
guitarists to attain such technical mastery of the guitar and then find themselves
so often incapable of seducing their audience. Yeah I know, we're supposed to
like them, and like every guitar lover, I do. (I even wonder if the guitar is
cut out to be a single note, high-octane, high-volume, bob-scale solo instrument
- aren't the sax and the violin better cut out for this? - the guitar's real
strenth seems to be in polyphony...but that's another subject)But Johnny's got
the duende (the Spanish word for magical guitar imp/demon that makes listeners
fall in love with the player).
Back to the concert: if you want to see Niagra falls, don't
go. If you want to contemplate a small beautiful creek (or even a small fountain!),
Friday, 20 April 2001:
Aladdin Theatre Portland, Oregon
Saturday, 21 April
2001: Ballard FireHouse, Seatle
Saturday, 2 June
2001: Katalin, Uppsala, Sweden
- Boogie Real Low
- Going Down
- Johnny Guitar
I have been a fan of Johnny's music for about ten years,
and own and love many of his albums. He has not visited Sweden for a long while,
so this was my first opportunity to se him live. Despite the rumors surrouding
his health and playing, and a ticket price of $ 35, I decided to go. He's playing
about 5 gigs in Sweden, one of them an extra concert in Stockholm, as the first
show there was sold out. The first 2 shows, in Gothenburg and Stockholm, got
really bad reviews, so I was forewarned that he might not be so good. The club,
Katalin, was sold out, so there was a big and enthusiactic audience. It seems
like Johnny has always been popular in Sweden, and he still has quite a following
here. Johnny and the band came on stage a quarter past ten, but I missed the
first number, Hideaway, as my friend fainted and I had to carry him out and
wake him up. It was very warm in the club. Anyway, we were back in the hall
as the first number ended. Johnny looked really weak, he barely moved and was
all stiff in the face. It seems pretty clear that he is suffering from Parkinson's
decease. But I was pleasantly surprised by his performance. He followed Hideaway
with Mojo Working, and although he plays a lot slower than before, he still
plays with impeccable taste and he still sounds like himself. His vocals were
a bit weak at times, but as sleazy as on the records. I think he followed Mojo
Working with She likes to boogie real low. That is one of my favorites, and
he performed it well. The guitar work was tentative at first, but got good in
the latter part of the song. Then he moved to the side of the stage and the
roadie helped him change guitar and the band played The sun is shining. His
slide work was fine, although he sang out of tune on this number and played
a bit out of tune towards the end. This happened a couple of more times during
the show, but was not so noticeable. They ended with Johnny Guitar, and Johnny
just went to one side of the stage before the encore, some kind of instumental
with the Fast life rider riff thrown in. I enjoyed the show and was happy to
see one of my favorite artists live. It is true that he plays far below his
previous standards, but this must be because of his medical problems. He still
plays with taste and feeling, and I did not think it was a tragic performance.
The band was very good too, supportive and tight. Johnny does look shockingly
frail, perhaps he shouldn't tour any more, it cannot be good for his health.
But it does seem like he enjoys playing; he smiled now and then and a big grin
was visible on his face during the encore
Tuesday, 5 June 2001:
Amager Bio, Copenhagen, Denmark
| 5 June 2001, Amager Bio, Copenhagen, Denmark
Photos By Rene Aagaard
5 June 2001, Amager Bio, Copenhagen, Denmark.
I went to the concert with my son, Morten, age 17.
He was enthusiastic, and so was I ! Johnny went on stage at 22:15 by the help
of a roadie and a transparant plastic-cane. He looked very fragile and walked
on stiff legs with small steps. On stage was a stool, which he used frequently
during the concert. Johnnys first song was HIDEAWAY, and he did'nt play it very
well ! He seemed tired and unconcentrated, and he played a lot of wrong notes.
Still, standing in the first row to the stage, it was fantastic to wach him.
During the second song, 15 minutes in the concert, some
jerk threw the contents of a full half litre beer at Johnny, hitting him, his
hands and guitar, so Johnny dripped from beer ! Johnny was for half a second
a bit shoked, but went on playing with beer all over the fingers and neck of
the guitar. At the end of the number, he said: "Who was that motherfucker, who
threw beer at me ?" And the bass-player said: "It's all-right, Johnny, he has
been thrown out"
Johnny had to clean his fingers and guitar, that was all
sticky from beer, and I said to myself, whoops - is he going to leave the concert,
like he did on Roskilde Festival about 15 years earlier, when idiots threw beer-cans
and bottles at him ? Luckily he did'nt - credits to you, Johnny ! I'm glad,
that you choose not to let one idiot spoil the expectations of the rest of the
The concert went on, and Johnny became better and better,
still not as good as before, but he had the spirit and still som of his greatness
from the years before !
I think the concert was OK for me and particually
for my son, who loved every minute, though he can play HIDEAWAY with a lot more
correctness. But he don't have the feeling of an old guy, who had played the
blues for allmost 50 years. And Johnny had two great guys to back him up, the
drummer and the bass-player. Good work following him up, guys !
The crowd loved it, and at the end, after giving an extra
song, Johnny seemed quite pleased - despite of the beer-incident He walked away
with his stick - a little man with a GIANT inside.
Thank You Johnny, you still got the blues, and me and my
son wishes you the best for the future - look after yourself !
Michael Madsen, Denmark
Blues News Jul-Sep 2001
The German magazine "Blues News" published 7 full pagres article with a biography and discography of Johnny Winter. Trivia: this magazine mentions the fîrst Johnny Winter's website URL: www.home.ch/°spaw1203/Music/winter.html
25-27 Aug 2001 - 5th Bishop's Court Festival, cancelled
due to illness
Tuesday, 28 August 2001: Blues guitarist Johnny Winter
pulled out of a concert due to illness. He went on stage to apologise to more than 5,000 fans before going to a nearby hospital.
Winter, 57, was suffering from numbness on his right side, called radial nerve palsy, and was unable to perform at Monday's concert, according to organisers of the Bishopstock Festival in Devonshire, southern England.
A festival spokesman said Winter was at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital and that his condition was not considered serious.
Aug 2001 - Interview with Michael Buffalo Smith:
Johnny Winter is a legend. Sure, that title gets tossed
around in rock and roll like a Frisbee in the park on Sunday, but this time,
it is an accurate description. From the '60's onward, with landmark albums
like "Johnny Winter And," "The Progressive Blues Experiment," "Still Alive
and Well," "Saints and Sinners," "Let Me In," and "Captured Live," along
with endless touring, Winter captured and kept a loyal audience who still,
to this day, speak his name in reverence. We spoke with Johnny by phone,
and while this may not be one of the most in depth interviews we have ever
done, it is definitely one of the most important, because this man is a
true rock and blues icon. A guitar slinger admired by players and fans around
the world. We feel lucky to have shared a few minutes with Johnny Winter.
Thanks for speaking with us, Johnny. It's really a
The pleasure is mine.
How have you been doing since your hip surgery? Pretty
well. I've just about recuperated, but I still get a little sore once in
a while. But I'm doing pretty good.
How was your recent European tour?
It went real well. We always like playing Europe.
How would you compare audiences in Europe to those
in the USA?
Well- there's not a lot of difference. But it seems
like the European fans are a little more tuned in to the blues. It seems
like the blues are bigger over there. There's just a larger audience for
it over there I believe.
What's your favorite place to play in Europe?
I don't know. I like a lot of it, but Copenhagen was
real nice. And I like Stockholm.
I hear you are working on a new album. How's that coming
Yes. We've got two tracks finished. We have most of
the material chosen for the rest of it. There are two new songs on the record,
written by a guy named Tom Hambridge. There's also a T-Bone Walker song
and a Magic Sam song. I think they are planning on putting it out the second
week of January.
We certainly look forward to it. We really enjoyed
the new video compilation you have out, "Pieces and Bits." Do you have more
material that you plan to put out later?
I don't think so. I think we used just about everything
that we had, but you never can tell, Sometimes stuff comes up, and you might
run into some more material on the road.
I've always loved the rock albums you did in the past,
especially "Still Alive and Well" and "Saints & Sinners." What drives you
to do primarily blues instead or rock and roll?
I just seem to like playing the blues better. It's
what I love. Some of the old style rock and roll I like a lot too though.
Speaking of the blues. The world just lost a great
one in John
Lee Hooker. I wonder if you'd share your thoughts on John Lee?
Oh, yeah. He lived a good long life, and it
seems he said everything that he had to say. It was a shame to see him have
to go, though. There will never be another one like him.
Who were your major influences in music? Who made you
want to get out there and play?
Oh man. I listened to every blues record I could find,
you know? I bought every blues record I could find. It wasn't just a couple
of people that I liked a lot, it was the blues in general. People like Muddy
Waters , of course, he was one of my favorites. And Robert Johnson,
and Little Walter. Those were some of my favorites. Bobby Bland was great
How do you feel about the state of blues music in the
21st century? There seems to be a resurgence with artists like Jonny Lang
and Susan Tedeschi.
Yeah, there are a lot of good young people coming up.
I think it continues to thrive and grow. I don't think the blues will ever
die, but I don't think there will ever be any more like Muddy
Waters though, and Howlin' Wolf. The ones that are gone, it'd be pretty
hard to find people to replace them.
I loved the records you did with Muddy
Waters . What was he like as a person? He
was a great guy. He was like a father figure to me.
One of the high points of my career was working with Muddy.
Do you think you'll do any more work with your brother
Edgar anytime soon?
I don't know, I might use him on this album. I might
have him come in and do some keyboards. I don't know yet. I don't know how
he's doing on time- if he's got time to do it.
When you listen to music yourself, do you listen to
strictly blues, or do you listen to other stuff too?
Mostly blues. I like Dr. John a whole lot. He's pretty
bluesy, but he does some rock and roll too. I don't listen to much of the
new music. I like the old stuff better.
The new Double Trouble record is really good. Do you
think you'll ever play with Tommy
Shannon again, or Uncle
Yeah. They're both pretty busy right now. The last
time I played with them was on the Alligator Records. They played on four
cuts on the last Alligator record that I did.
A lot of that was just reissued on a double-disc compilation.
What's next on your agenda, Johnny?
Well, the new album is the main thing I'm doing right
now. And we're gonna keep to touring to. So with touring and making a record,
I'm gonna be pretty busy.
Vintage Guitar Magazine, Nov 2001
In Novmber 2001 the Vuntage Guitar Magazine publishes and extenstive interview of Johnny Winter by Tom Guerr, This interview is called: "Still
Alive and Well"
r your time, and thank you for all the great
music all these years.
Well, thank you.
und Bass (Germany), Sep 2001
Johnny Winter ist der Prototyp des modernen Blues-Rock-Gitarristen,
der virtuos und vielseitig dem guten alten Zwölftakter Ende der 60er Jahre neues
Leben einhauchte. Heute ist Winter längst eine lebende Legende, dessen Name
für energetischen Texas-Blues steht. Stevie Ray Vaughan, Rory Gallagher, Walter Trout, Michael Katon, Popa Chubby, Kenny Wayne
Shepherd, Jonny Lang - sie alle gehör(t)en zum Typus des Rock-beeinflussten
Blues-Musikers, dessen Spielweise in der Tradition von Johnny Winter steht.
Als Komponist tat sich Winter so gut wie kaum hervor. Er beschränkte sich auf
den vorhandenen großen Pool an Blues-Stücken und machte diese Songs in elektrifizierter
Version populär - und vielleicht auch erst damit einem Rock-Publikum zugänglich,
das eher weniger an Blues interessiert war. Trotz der Härte und musikalischen
Offenheit seines Spiels ist Johnny Winter allerdings bis heute immer noch der
Blues-Tradition verbunden ...