Johnny Winter’s absence from the Rock Hall is a bloody outrage


By Steve Newton

Devoted Johnny Winter fans are still mourning the passing of the Texas guitar legend, who died last  Wednesday (July 16) at the age of 70. They’ve no doubt been playing the hell out of his vast array of awesome albums, or reminiscing about the times they saw him tear things up in concert.

But now that the shock and sadness surrounding Winter’s death is starting to fade a bit, it’s being replaced by feelings of outrage at the understanding that Johnny Winter has never been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He hasn’t even been nominated!

Can you freakin’ believe that?

It should come as no surprise, I suppose, since the Rock Hall is notorious for ignoring deserving artists who’ve been eligible for their hallowed hallways for decades.

Remember the furor regarding the Rock Hall’s denial of the almighty Rush, who didn’t get in until last year? And the way they “blackballed” shock-rock king Alice Cooper for 15 years, even though his impact on rock and roll is undeniable.

Just this year the Hall had the audacity to leave Link Wray, the inventor of the raunchy riff, out in the cold, choosing instead the likes of pop-radio faves Hall & Oates and Cat Stevens.

Do they even know what the words “rock and roll” mean? Apparently not. In fact, I doubt any of the powers that be at the Rock Hall have even heard Johnny Winter passionately holler those three words before launching into his famous live version of “Johnny B. Goode”:

THAT is what the words “rock and roll” mean–to me, anyway. And I don’t think I’m alone in that assessment.

Johnny Winter has been eligible for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for over 20 years. What the hell are they waiting for? I realize that he’s not as well known as the Trio of Living Rock Guitar Heroes–Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, and Eric Clapton–but all three of them have already been inducted, at least twice.

It’s Johnny’s turn.

Maybe the Rock Hall would argue: “Well hell, Newt, we can’t induct everybody! There isn’t room!” If that’s the case, then here’s an idea. You know how KISS was whining for years about not being in the Hall, and then when it finally got in this year, it continued complaining? I say toss ’em out and make room for Winter. He’s got more talent in his left baby-toenail than Gene Simmons has in his entire tongue!

Or better yet: give the boot to Rock Hall director Jann Wenner, who got himself inducted for “Lifetime Achievement” back in 2004. Am I supposed to believe that his “achievements” in rock and roll are more worthy than Johnny Winter’s?

Fuck that noise.

I hereby demand the immediate nomination of John Dawson Winter III for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, class of 2015.

Who’s with me?


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