This DVD contains an incredible collection of official archival footage from the '70s including performances from Danish TV "Gladsaxe Teen Club" (Denmark 1970), the Royal Albert Hall in London (1970), the Beat Club in Bremen, Germany (1970), Don Kirshner's Rock Concert - Palace Theater in Waterbury, CT (1973), Soundstage - Blues Summit in Chicago, IL (1974), Musikladen in Bremen, Germany (1974), and Rockpalast in Germany (1979). Intermixed with the live content is interview footage at Detroit Tubeworks in Detroit, MI (1970). It's the definitive document of Johnny's career in the '70s.
There is no known film of Robert Johnson, precious little of T-Bone Walker and none of Muddy Waters in his prime in Chicago before 1960. But the gods of music bestowed a gift on fans when they granted the filming of Johnny Winter from his creation as he exploded on the scene like a Texas tornado to become a true blues guitar hero.
The first clips from 1970 shot at the Gladsaxe Teen Club in Denmark with Johnny s Texas rhythm section of bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Uncle John Turner are stunning in their production and performances. Johnny is an exuberant live wire, his long white mane flashing. With brother Edgar guesting on keyboards, drums and vocals, he tears into an epic version of Be Careful of the Fool like a man on a mission slinging a suitably funky Epiphone guitar. A special treat is the rare, early airing of Edgar s Frankenstein with Johnny carrying the track almost single-handedly.
Concert footage from the same year at the Royal Albert Hall in London finds him evolving to rock and glam as his onstage persona develops. He owned Johnny B. Goode in the 70s and his orgasmic version, along with hyper takes of Talk to Your Daughter and Tell the Truth are still breathtaking and unmatched in their raw energy and fret-melting chops.
Interviews conducted at Detroit Tubeworks are interspersed throughout, revealing Johnny as a witty subject with a perceptive and wryly critical view of the culture. He is joined in one segment by bassist Randy Jo Hobbs to whom he precedes to teach Key to the Highway on the spot for a spontaneous country blues performance showing another side of his guitar mastery. By the time he appears on Rock Concert in 1973 with Hobbs and double-bass drummer Richard Hughes, however, he has metamorphosed into a full-fledged star on his way to becoming one of the biggest arena acts of the decade. With top hat, cape, platform shoes and beard, he waves his signature Firebird like a magic wand at the transfixed audience as he rocks the house to the rafters with Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo and Stone County.
By 1979 Johnny returned to the blues he never left. In a telling moment he attempts to explain the music to the German audience at the Rockpalast in Essen. Citing the language barrier, he proceeds to give the most eloquent demonstration with bassist/harmonicist Jon Paris and drummer Bobby Torello by using the classic Mississippi Blues as a vehicle to traverse the whole history from the Delta to Texas, Chicago and beyond to the high voltage style of Johnny himself. It is a fitting testimonial to a legendary bluesman who has earned his place among the immortals that preceded and inspired him. --Dave Rubin, Guitar Edge Magazine