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Johnny Winter

Posted by purplemary54 on July 17, 2014

Likely to be lost in today’s very upsetting news of a passenger plane going down in Ukraine (possibly shot down by separatists armed by Russia) is the news that Blues/Rock guitarist Johnny Winter has passed away at 70.

Johnny Winter’s death wouldn’t have made the headlines, anyway.  He’s long since lost any of the commercial cache he had in the 1970s and been relegated to the fringes of popular culture.  But Johnny Winter sure could play guitar.

I admit that I’ve often confused Johnny with his slightly more well-known and extremely similar looking brother Edgar.  (The cover for the Edgar Winter Group’s most famous album used to scare the living daylights out of me when I was a kid.)  Both the Winter brothers were born with albinism–a congenital condition that causes a lack of pigmentation of hair, skin, and eyes.  They were, to my inexperienced child eyes, quite eerie to see.  It was hard for me then to see past appearances and just experience the music.

I have no problem with that now.  Although I still don’t particularly like Edgar’s work, I find Johnny to be an immense joy to hear.  Winter was currently touring Europe, and died in his hotel room in Zürich.  I hope it’s some comfort to his family and friends that he was out there doing the work he loved.

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