By Steve Newton
In a few hours I’m heading out to see Louisiana slide-guitar ace Sonny Landreth play a gig in Vancouver.
If you’re a fan of Sonny, you may know that his latest album, Bound By the Blues, features a tribute to one of his musical heroes, Johnny Winter, called “Firebird Blues”.
You may also know that, absurb as it is, Johnny Winter has never been nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame–even though he’s been eligible since 1993!
That burns my ass.
So much so that I went ahead and inducted Johnny into my own Rock Hall last year, along with Deep Purple, Rory Gallagher, Iron Maiden, and Link Wray. (I had to take Purple out–and replace them with Thin Lizzy–when the “official” Rock Hall finally inducted them last month. There can be no overlapping between the two hallowed institutions.)
As I’m wont to do when interviewing the world’s best pickers, I asked Landreth recently if he was surprised that the Rock Hall–that other one, over in Cleveland–continues to overlook such an obviously deserving candidate as Johnny Winter.
“You can never be surprised by any of that kinda stuff,” he told me. “You never know who, when and how. But I’m sure he will be.”
I’m sure he will be, too. But that doesn’t make the RRHOF’s ignorance any easier to take for diehard Winter fans like myself.
And speaking of deserving candidates, I told Sonny that I expected him to make it into the Rock Hall one day himself. If they ever get their heads out of their asses.
“I’d rather be around than be in the Hall of Fame,” he replied. “But I’ll take what I can get.”