Tag Archives: guitar

R.I.P. Johnny Winter (1944-2014)

Well, this just sucks. Yesterday, blues-rock legend Johnny Winter passed away. I simply couldn’t believe the news when I hopped onto Facebook today, but sadly, it’s true. The news hit me with a total thud, and needless to say, I’m bummed.

I had the great fortune to meet Johnny this past November at Time Traveler Records in Cuyahoga Falls, and he couldn’t have been a nicer guy. Completely personable and giving of his time. Believe it or not, he had a concert to perform after the appearance, but even with that deadline, he took pictures with everyone that wanted one, and signed whatever people had. Such a cool guy. Even though it was months ago, it seems like I was just talking to him. Obviously I didn’t know him personally, I still feel a real sense of loss, as I’m sure so many other music lovers do as well right now.

R.I.P. Johnny, and thanks for all the great music.

I Met Johnny Winter At Time Traveler Records Tonight!

Tonight was full of “win.” Seriously, it was just one big giant “win.” Blues legend Johnny Winter, one of the greatest musicians ever, the Johnny Winter was live and in person at Time Traveler Records tonight! He signed autographs! He took pictures! He talked with people! And he couldn’t have been any nicer during all of it! Does it get any cooler than that?! No way can it get cooler than that.

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Of course, it wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment surprise, we knew about this event last month. I, my brother, the loyal customers and of course the owner of Time Traveler, Scott Shepard, we all did our part to spread the word. This was pretty much a once-in-a-lifetime event! A music legend, at the store that’s basically in my backyard and that I’m at a good part of the week anyway? No way in hell was I missing this! And I wasn’t the only one, because a lot of very cool people turned out for Johnny Winter’s Time Traveler appearance. The shot above was taken when it was coming time for Mr. Winter’s tour bus to pull in (rest assured, there were far more people inside than outside), and man, you can’t believe the anticipation. I was so jazzed last night, and that anticipation only built as today went on, as you may well imagine. Fortunately, it was a nice day, a little cloudy but fairly warm.

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There’s the bus when it first pulled in. Johnny was set to appear from 5 PM to 6 PM, and he got there right on time (actually, a little earlier). I took as many pictures beforehand as I could because, hey, I didn’t know if I was going to be allowed pics on the bus. I didn’t need to worry, because Johnny and the driver that was handling all this were very accommodating as far as photographs went.

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Basically, Johnny stayed on the bus, we formed a line, and one-by-one went in to meet him. This is one of those beforehand-pics, a super-candid exclusive shot, because again, I didn’t know if I was going to be allowed a close-up picture with him or not.

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My Brother went ahead of me, and got an actual Blues guitar autographed! According to mah Bro, Johnny was actually impressed by the guitar, asking some of the finer details about it, and even said it was pretty. Too cool!

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I handed the driver my camera, and he took pics of me meeting the man himself. I brought a vinyl copy of Johnny Winter, his second album and Columbia debut, to get signed.

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There’s your Northeast Ohio Video Hunter with the legend himself! He couldn’t have been any nicer, and while I only brought the one album to have signed, others brought multiple things, and he signed them all, completely free of charge. And, if someone didn’t have a record or CD, there were free glossy photos you could have autographed. Fact of the matter is that not every artist would go to those lengths to make sure everyone leaves happy, and of course I already highly respected Johnny Winter as it is, but that just impressed me all the more.

One thing I wish I would have brought but just didn’t have was a Johnny Winter 8-track. I got the idea a few nights ago, which by then was too late to get one off Ebay, and I didn’t come across any around town. Why an 8-track? Sure, they’re loooong obsolete, but they have a great solid, retro feel to them. Maybe I’m not explaining that well, I know, but something about an autographed Johnny Winter 8-track just seems so right. No matter, because the album I did get signed is beyond awesome.

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There’s a Time Traveler “cast photo” with Johnny Winter! From left-to-right: Mr. Winter (obviously!), Scott, me, Bald Dave (he introduces himself as “Steve”), my Brother, and a cool guy I just met tonight, Mark Shapiro.

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Fall evenings get dark quickly, and there’s a shot of the bus outside as night was falling. I love the look of the nighttime sky in the background.

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It really does get dark quickly this time of year (as you may well imagine), but the weather was so nice that a lot of us wound up congregating outside. There was a real party atmosphere, and why shouldn’t there be? We all just met Johnny Winter!

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There’s my Brother with his newly-signed Johnny Winter guitar. The thing is really, really badass.

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And there’s my signed Johnny Winter album. Way too cool. At one point, almost certainly long ago, “Paige” decided to helpfully sign it, too.

What a night! Johnny Winter has a show at Tangier Restaurant & Cabaret later, which a lot of the Time Traveler guys are going to. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make it to that, but man, it was too cool of Mr. Winter to stop by beforehand. I can’t thank him enough for the experience, and I know I’m not alone in expressing gratitude.

The Official Johnny Winter Website: http://www.johnnywinter.net/

Time Traveler is located at 2615 State Road, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio 44223 and they can be reached at 330-923-4408.

 

Vintage Bruce Springsteen Carnival Mirror Prize!

For $2, your Northeast Ohio Video Hunter found pure joy at Goodwill last night. No, this has nothing to do with videos, broadcasting, electronics, or any of the crap I usually cover, but I’m a diehard Bruce Springsteen fan and it’s my blog so I’ll do what I want.

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An old school Bruce Springtsteen carnival mirror prize! It sat, sad and alone, with the other miscellaneous goods that made up the “knick knacks” section, but this was so, so much better than candle holders and novelty statuettes. Generally, you’d win these things at, say it with me, carnivals, should you perform whatever feat a rigged game called for. There seem to be a few pin-prick holes in the graphics, so maybe it was won by throwing darts? That’s what my patented NEO Video Hunter deductive reasonin’ is telling me, at least.

This is clearly from the Brucemania days of the mid-1980’s; the red & white stripes and headband are dead giveaways this is Born In The U.S.A.-era Bruce. Not quite my favorite Springsteen period (that probably goes to the Darkness On The Edge Of Town and The River-eras of his career), but certainly his biggest. It’s impossible to overstate how huge Bruce Springsteen was in the mid-to-late-80’s; The Born In The U.S.A. album and tour were massive. Springsteen never had a wider audience, though this has had the unfortunate side-effect of creating a bunch of stuck-in-1984 fans that refuse to give anything else he’s done since a listen (seriously, during his 2012 Cleveland concert, someguy directly behind us whined and complained nearly the entire time because Bruce wasn’t playing songs he recognized. The only time he shut up was when an older song he did know was played. If this dude would have closed his mouth for even a moment, maybe he would have realized what an amazing show Bruce was putting on. But, I digress).

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Now, as far as I can ascertain, this is a carnival mirror prize, but it isn’t like most carnival mirror prizes I’ve seen online. Typically, carnival mirror prizes would feature an image over mirrored-glass (hence the term “mirror prize,” dig?), placed into a cheap, usually cardboard, frame. If you can peel your eyes away from the admittedly cluttered spot I decided to take this picture, you’ll see that my Bruce Springsteen thing lacks a frame proper. Rather, it’s under glass, which is duct taped to a piece of cardboard. Furthermore, the image (which isn’t mirrored in any way) doesn’t appear to be a part of the glass, but rather a plastic-graphic sandwiched in-between the glass and cardboard. So, while I’m thinking this was a carnival mirror prize, it may have been some other kinda-related promotional item. I seem to recall stands that had pics hung on the back wall, and you could pick which one you wanted to be airbrushed onto a shirt. But, I don’t know.

No doubt about it, this thing is cool. Yes, joy can be had for only two damn dollars.

(In the interest of full-disclosure, I would have had absolutely no clue what this might be if it weren’t for a helpful article on one of my very favorite sites, Dinosaur Dracula. The proprietor of that fine site wrote an article all about carnival mirror prizes, and it’s thanks to him that I even know to call them “carnival mirror prizes”. You can read that article here: http://dinosaurdracula.com/blog/carnival-mirror-prizes/ ).