Last night, blues guitar legend Johnny Winter died in a hotel room in Switzerland. He was 70 years old.
A frail albino from Beaumont, Texas, Winter struggled through a life of alienation, addiction, injuries and illnesses to become one of the greatest guitarists of all time. From his humble debut in the early 1950s to his historic performance at the final night of Woodstock in ’69 and beyond, he entertained audiences for over half a century with an incredible legacy of soulful blues and rock music — and was still going, having last performed just a few nights before his death.
Winter’s long career was filled with honors that included gracing the cover of the inaugural issue of Guitar World magazine, being inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame and the Southeast Texas Walk of Fame, as well as winning three Grammy Awards and a High Times Doobie Award for Lifetime Achievement, which Johnny called “The best award I’ve ever been given.” My colleague Rick Cusick and I had the honor of presenting it to him on stage at the Fillmore NY, after a performance with his brother, rocker Edgar Winter in 2009. As a former addict and alcoholic, Winter had given up all drugs — except for marijuana, which he smoked almost constantly.
“There never was a time when I didn’t like smoking weed,” he told me over joint during our interview before the show.
On a personal note: the short time I spent with Johnny meant a great deal to me. When I was about 14 years old, my dad brought me to see him for my very first live concert. He was my parents’ all-time favorite musician, and having the opportunity to introduce them to him was one of the great thrills of our lives. Though I’m deeply saddened by his passing, I find comfort in the testimonial given by Rick that fateful night at the Fillmore:
“When I get the blues, there are two things that are absolutely guaranteed to make me feel better,” confessed Cusick, “One: really, really good marijuana, and two: every time without a doubt, the music of Johnny Winter.”
Thanks for the music Johnny — this toke’s for you.
Mommy and Me Trip to the Weed Maze: Normalizing Cannabis for Toddlers
Bloom Farms Announces Commitment to Gender Equality in the Cannabis Industry
The Ultimate Stoner Grocery List
Doctor Who Uses Medical Marijuana Sues After Being Denied a Gun
News3 days ago
Federal Government Seeks Cultivators to Grow Thousands of Kilos of Cannabis
News5 days ago
Texas Representative Introduces Bill to Decriminalize Marijuana
News4 days ago
American Student Facing Death Penalty in China for Cannabis Distribution Released
News5 days ago
Two People Shot and Killed in Los Angeles Cannabis Dispensary
Culture5 days ago
Michelle Obama Writes About Smoking Pot in Upcoming Book
CBD5 days ago
The United Kingdom Will Soon Have First Cannabis-Infused Restaurant
News4 days ago
LA County Sheriff’s Deputy Allegedly Faked Raid to Rob Cannabis Facility
Dispensaries5 days ago
Cathedral City Just Opened SoCal’s First Legal Consumption Lounge