R & R Hall Of Shame – (Spotlight) Johnny Winter

Author: Dale Nickey

The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame carries a stink. Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner is also co-founder of the R&R Hall. And it is common knowledge that his personal musical taste dictates the nomination list. The list fails to include some of the more accomplished British Bands or any artist he ‘don’t cotton to’.  He seems to have a particular distaste for British artists in the progressive wing of rock music.


Imagine the talent agent that first caught wind of Johnny Winter. “Wait, you’re tellin’ me that you got a snow white Texas albino who sings and plays the blues like a mother#$%*%#! and his name is WINTER?……Huh, what?!! Are you shitting me? He’s got a TWIN??!!”

Its unfair that Stevie Ray Vaughn is on the outside of the hall looking in. However, Johnny Winter has to go in first.  How many Texas blues rockers has he blazed the trail for?  ZZ Top,  StevieThe Fabulous Thunderbirds to name a few.  He’s one of the few blues players who can display staggering virtuosity without compromising the blues ethos.  Substance abuse and horrible management torpedoed his career.  He refused to sign a release allowing his Woodstock performance to be included in the film.  And, rumors persist that he shrugged off an offer to replace Duane Allman in the Allman Brothers.  No, matter. He was a trailblazer and a hell-raiser.  He produced three Grammy winning albums for Muddy Waters when the blues giant was kicked to the curb after Chess Records closed.  He’s already in the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame. Let’s put things right next time around…while he’s still with us.     

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8 thoughts on “R & R Hall Of Shame – (Spotlight) Johnny Winter

  1. I was fortunate to have a brother about 7 years older who introduced me to Johnny before I was a teenager. Agreed he’s one of the blues greats-love the voice and the guitar playing is almost always amazing. Was happy to see he re-started his career with Alligator records, some nice work on that label. Thanks for the video!

  2. The first album by Jonnhy 10 1970 ‘i think) contained “Be careful..” ; Then I Had 2 anothers around 85, and “Winter of 88″ : all are excellent and Johnny’s style in guitar meet the virtuosity and “speed” feeiling, with the TRUE emotional Blues feeling : Texas rock could be that ?… I don’t enter with this nationwide history, I am not american !… So, I could see BB Kong rock, and Clapton Blues… and Rory Gallagher rock and blues, and irish potion potter filler (excuse my english literature !:)

  3. Was lucky enough to open for Johnny with the band I played in “Roost” in Scotland in 2007 – at The Ferry in Glasgow – Brilliant and his band were pretty amazing also

    • Ah,whatever happened to Roost. You still playing Bill? We’re on at the Ferry Easter Sunday (31st March -Used Blues).One of the perks of the gig is knowing who’s been up there before you – Bonamassa,Southside Johnny,Walter Trout,Robin Trower etc

  4. Not familiar with the person or politics you refer to but heartily agree with anything that will recognise the debt owed to Johnny Winter.Had the good fortune to see the man live at BB Kings in new York last October.The years have taken their toll on the man but jeez he can still play.Your damn right! Let the man know the respect he commands while he’s still around,they’ll be plenty happy to claim him as the greatest when he’s gone ,but let’s hope thats a long time comin’.

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