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, Stevie, The 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.