I woke up this morning to a heavy dose of the Blues as word that the legendary guitarist Johnny Winter had passed away in his Zurich, Switzerland hotel room. He was 70 years old and had only celebrated this milestone year back in February 2014 where the photo I present below was taken.
According to reports, Mr. Winter had been in declining health over the last few years but that never stopped him from gigging it seemed. Fans from the NYC region could always count on several “Winter In Winter” residencies at the venerated B.B. King Blues Club in Times Square and in addition to these shows he would tour extensively and on occasion do meet and greets with the fans who wanted to shake his hand and thank him for the mastery that he put out there. I was happy to have been able to catch a few of his live performances at B.B. King’s as they were incredible displays of technique that resonated with influence. With his passing, the great band in the sky has added a guitar slinger like no other to their lineup. This sad news follows the only recently broadcast report about Tamas Erdelyi (Tommy Ramone, the original drummer for The Ramones) passing away only last week. Two legends gone in too short a time frame.
Johnny is survived by his wife, his younger brother Edgar, his band mates and more fans than can easily be counted. Thank you Johnny Winter for all of the wonderful and kick ass music that you gave us. You will never be replaced but you shall always be remembered and your sounds shall continue to live on and influence anyone who chooses to pick up a guitar. Rest in Peace Bluesman.