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RonJonSurfer

Johnny Winter Dead at 70

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I can't begin to say how sad I am to hear this news. I saw Johnny play many times and it was always a great show. The highlight was a show at The Beacon Theatre in New York when Johnny played with Muddy Waters in the very early '80's.

ZURICH—

Johnny Winter, an American blues rock guitarist, vocalist and band leader best known for his virtuoso slide-guitar solos and raspy vocals, was found dead in a hotel room outside Zurich, Swiss police said on Thursday. He was 70.

Along with his brother, Edgar Winter, also a well known blues musician, the two revered African-American blues tradition and began performing in his teens.

Johnny, distinctive because he and brother Edgar were albino, broke into national fame in 1968, when Rolling Stone magazine dubbed him the hottest musician outside Janis Joplin.

In 1969, he played the Newport Jazz Festival, where he performed with B.B. King, one of his musical idols, and at Woodstock.

He also produced albums for his idol, Muddy Waters, in the 1970s, helping to burnish the reputation of the legendary bluesman.

Among Winter's best known songs was "Still Alive and Well", a blues rock stomper recorded after he resurfaced from heroin addiction in the 1970s.

A new Winter album, on which Eric Clapton and Ben Harper appear as guests, is set to be released on Sept. 2. A boxed collections of his main tracks since the 1960s was released this year, complete with tributes from other performers who said he'd been a seminal influence on their careers.

In an interview with the New York Times earlier this year, Winter said he enjoyed touring and working with younger musicians.

"I think about legacy a lot," he said. "Hopefully at the end of the day they say I was a good bluesman. That's all I want."

Winter was found dead overnight in a hotel room outside Zurich, according to a police spokeswoman. A prosecutor has ordered an autopsy because the cause of death is unclear.

There was no indication of third-party involvement, and early indications pointed to a medically related incident.

Reuters

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He was one of the most underrated electric blues performers. Ronnie Montrose said that Johnny and Lowell George were the best slide guitar players he ever heard.

Unfortunately, Johnny had numerous health problems in later life. I saw him a few years ago at The Crossroads Guitar Festival (only on DVD, unfortunately) and he looked very frail and his hands were quite swollen like you often see in people with rheumatoid arthritis. He could still play, though.

R.I. P to the first great Texas Guitar Slinger.

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He was one of the most underrated electric blues performers. Ronnie Montrose said that Johnny and Lowell George were the best slide guitar players he ever heard.

Unfortunately, Johnny had numerous health problems in later life. I saw him a few years ago at The Crossroads Guitar Festival (only on DVD, unfortunately) and he looked very frail and his hands were quite swollen like you often see in people with rheumatoid arthritis. He could still play, though.

R.I. P to the first great Texas Guitar Slinger.

the last time I was almost in a major fist fight was at a Johnny winter concert at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park. A couple assistants helped a frail Johnny onto the stage. i couldn't believe how thin he was. Soon as the music started the crowd rushed the stage and some guy was pushing me from behind until i turned face to face and we go tinto it. It got stopped quickly (before we got bounced) and I'm glad. I got to see Johnny Winter playing in the a small club from about 10 feet away.

That was quite a few years ago. I wouldn't have bet on him living that many more years.

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The first time I saw Johnny was in the 70's in New Jersey. With Foghat and ZZ Top. It turned into a big jam with lots of guitar playing and Johnny just blew everyone away. He just took the blues into outer space. (as far as I was concerned) I saw him a few more times in Texas and he just always seemed to get better. Blues, rock and always with some other guitarist just to jam. Too many to mention. I'm going to miss this guy. I always looked forward to seeing when he was touring again. :(

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The first time I saw Johnny was in the 70's in New Jersey. With Foghat and ZZ Top. It turned into a big jam with lots of guitar playing and Johnny just blew everyone away. He just took the blues into outer space. (as far as I was concerned) I saw him a few more times in Texas and he just always seemed to get better. Blues, rock and always with some other guitarist just to jam. Too many to mention. I'm going to miss this guy. I always looked forward to seeing when he was touring again. :(

The night he died I saw an ad that said he was playing at a Blues Festival in New Brunswick, NJ during the first week of August. I wanted to go but it fell during my vacation. Of course I said I'll catch him next time because he plays the area so much. Sometimes there isn't a next time.

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