It is with sadness that we confirm the death of Beaumont, Texas legendary blues rock guitarist/ singer/ songwriter Johnny Winter while on tour in Austria. Here at In the Studio, we had obtained Johnny Winter’s still unreleased impressive next album Step Back which became a guitar summit meeting featuring Eric Clapton, Billy Gibbons, Joe Perry, Brian Setzer, Joe Bonamassa, and Leslie West. We were finalizing my first ever interview with Johnny Winter, to be conducted in the next two weeks, when we received the sad news. We are receiving stories and tributes from all over the world, including ZZ TOP‘s Billy Gibbons: ”
When I first saw Johnny perform, I was maybe 12 or 13, and he was known as ‘Johnny Cool Daddy Winter’ and we’ve always thought of him as exactly that: “One Cool Daddy”.
Johnny became a dear and passionate friend as well as the accomplished bluesman we have come to admire. It’s now a moment for celebration of his brilliance frozen for all time.
We’ve lost another of the gifted guitar greats and a truly soulful spirit.- – – Billy F Gibbons
From In the Studio‘s London correspondent and blues guitarist Patrick Moore: “When I heard Johnny Winter had died, it struck me that it must be almost exactly 30 years since I saw him live in London, sometime in the summer of 1984, as I recall. One of my most memorable gigs, because with Johnny, you just got 100% passion. There was no fancy light show, no effects, no stage costumes. Johnny wasn’t playing the blues on a vintage Gibson Firebird, he had a rather silly looking small bodied plastic guitar. But he sounded ferocious and proceeded to tear up the place. He had everyone on their feet within seconds of appearing. This wasn’t a “show” like many bands put on, this was a man giving everything he had.
After the gig I felt stunned at the impact Johnny had on us all, at the same time feeling that I knew him, because the amount of himself he had given to us. Truly one of the best blues nights I have ever experienced. They really don’t make them like that anymore!”