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Boomer Anthems: In which Johnny Winter and friends rip the skin off “Highway 61”

Johnny & Edgar Winter + Rick Derringer doing it southeast Texas style!

Now the rovin’ gambler he was very bored
He was tryin’ to create a next world war
He found a promoter who nearly fell off the floor
He said I never engaged in this kind of thing before
But yes I think it can be very easily done
We’ll just put some bleachers out in the sun
And have it on Highway 61

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Terry October 26, 2022, 7:42 PM

    Rick Derringer did some darn cool gigs when he traveled through California. Dancing girls were a treat and this:


    Many myths are attached to the above Hang On Sloopy song/video. The girl could dance and put young punks like myself in a trance. None of the girls I dated back then wore a bra. Truly some “good old days”.

  • Frankensteiner October 26, 2022, 9:29 PM

    Edgar Winter Frankenstein is a classic.
    The brothers sued DC comics over the Jonah Hex comics with bloodthirsty mega villains named Edgar and John.
    The court ruled in favor of DC on first amendment grounds.

  • Mike Austin October 27, 2022, 2:29 AM

    Johnny Winter was a living and breathing advertisement of what drugs and booze can do to body and soul. From “Still Alive and Well” to this?

    I listened to the final interview he gave before his death. John Fetterman makes more sense than Winter did.

  • ghostsniper October 27, 2022, 4:44 AM


  • madmarc October 27, 2022, 4:54 AM

    No offense to Mr. Austin, regardless of Johnny’s self abuse, his music saved my ass back in the old 80’s days, when he released ” Guitar Slinger”. I was going through a miserable breakup with a long time girlfriend who was 1000 miles away, and stuck in a job in the wilderness of northern Minnesota. I was spiritually miserable, and couldn’t listen to anything on the radio as it was all sad or sappy “love lost” type of music.
    One day I was driving into my miserable job and happened to catch a blues radio station, and they were playing that album and it helped snap me out of a blue funk, really raised my spirits, and I have long since loved his music because of it. He rarely received credit in books about great blues players, even though he was a superb guitarist and had more soul in his voice than many who were considered more successful. He wasn’t really even acknowledged as a great blues man until after his death.
    He played rock and roll, country, soul and rhythm and blues. The fact that drugs and alcohol destroyed his life doesn’t take away from how superb his music was. The same could be said for many great musicians. I miss his music. Sad that the best often seem to treat themselves the worst.

    • Mike Austin October 27, 2022, 5:08 AM

      I probably have played the album “Still Alive and Well” 100 times. Every type of music you mentioned is on it. The words to “Ain’t Nothing to Me” is a lesson for every young man who wants to survive into adulthood.

      Winter began playing Blues as a young lad in Beaumont, Texas. He would frequent the black clubs. When he was 16 B. B. King asked him up on stage to play guitar with him.

      • Mike Austin October 27, 2022, 10:52 AM

        As mentioned, Johnny Winter’s lesson for young men:

        “Ain’t Nothing To Me”

        Take your drink to the end of the bar buddy.
        Come on, now don’t be a fool.
        I’d rather have the hot seat in Sing-Sing prison.
        Than to sit down by her, on that stool.

        What’s that ya say?
        While I guess you’re right.
        It ain’t nothin to me.

        See that man, she belongs to him buddy.
        Drink up, and leave while you can.
        I can tell by the way he looks at you buddy.
        He sure a quick tempered jealous man.

        What’s that ya say?
        While I guess you’re right.
        It ain’t nothin to me.

        There you are stretched out on the floor buddy.
        Ya see what you made him do.
        They’re coming to take him to the jail buddy.
        And tomorrow someone will bury you.

        Ah well that’s life.
        Ah at least it was.
        It ain’t nothin to me.

        • ghostsniper October 27, 2022, 1:08 PM

          What red blooded white dood can’t relate to that?
          My best friend in the army, way back when, that I still have regular contact with is a guitar slinger like me and his email address is Johnny Winter, bluesdawg@yahoo.com (slightly changed), and yes he plays a Firebird too.

          And sometimes it goes the other way, if you’re lucky.

          “Gimme Three Steps”

          I was cutting the rug
          Down at a place called The Jug
          With a girl named Linda Lu
          When in walked a man
          With a gun in his hand
          And he was looking for you know who.
          He said, “Hey there fellow,
          With the hair colored yellow,
          What you tryin’ to prove?
          ‘Cause that’s my woman there
          And I’m a man who cares
          And this might be all for you.”

          I said, “Excuse me.”

          I was scared and fearing for my life.
          I was shakin’ like a leaf on a tree.
          ‘Cause he was lean, mean,
          Big and bad, Lord,
          Pointin’ that gun at me.
          Oh “Wait a minute, mister,
          I didn’t even kiss her.
          Don’t want no trouble with you.
          And I know you don’t owe me
          But I wish you’d let me
          Ask one favor from you.”

          “Oh, won’t you give me three steps,
          Gimme three steps a-mister,
          Gimme three steps towards the door?
          Gimme three steps
          Gimme three steps a-mister,
          And you’ll never see a-me no more
          For sure.”

          Well the crowd cleared away
          And I began to pray
          And the water fell on the floor.
          And I’m telling you son,
          Well, it ain’t no fun
          Staring straight down a forty-four.
          Well he turned and screamed at Linda Lu
          And that’s the break I was looking for.
          And you could hear me screaming a mile away
          As I was headed out towards the door.

          “Oh, won’t you give me three steps,
          Gimme three steps a-mister,
          Gimme three steps towards the door?
          Gimme three steps
          Gimme three steps a-mister,
          And you’ll never see a-me no more.”

          Show me the back door.

          • Mike Austin October 27, 2022, 2:22 PM

            I came close many times to the last verse of “It Ain’t Nothing to Me” and twice my “personal” life lay in the hands of another man whose property I had transgressed. I needed many more then “three steps”. My guess is that he did not want to go to prison, so off I went. I have now retired from such trivial frivolities and am much calmer therefore. I’ll live longer too.

  • Dirk October 27, 2022, 7:59 AM

    About 14 years ago, Johnny Winters landed at the Klamath Falls Oregon airport. A HUGE mistake, his gig was in the town of KLAMATH Calif, I was on duty at the airport doing TSA security checks, mr Winters was pissed.
    I asked if I might help him, “ he was pissed” Winters threw his arms in the air, and backing away quickly, saying “ I don’t want no problems with the man” I started laughing, Johnny I’m here to help you, I’m a huge fan, have pretty much everything you guys ever did in my album collection. He looked at me, you still have albums, Johnny I have thousands of albums, he mellowed out quickly.

    Long story short I called my friend who managed the car rental station at the airport, she came down. We/she got him and the band hooked up with a rig, and very good directions. Johnny and the other band members present, shook my hand, I escorted them in my black and white to highway 97 south, and that was it.

    In my hour spent with him, I found him to be guarded at first, yet when he realized I was trying to get his travel issue squared away, he turned out to be a good guy. Wicked quick witted.

    His music fueled generations of Americans.

  • mhf October 31, 2022, 11:49 AM

    johhny winter was from Leland, ms. his papa was mayor for years. true story. and guess where leland is? at intersection hwy 61 and 82. smack dab in the middle of ms delta and true home of the blues. bb king was from indianola, 15 miles east. and that’s where JW got his bonafides