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Live Through the 70's

4.2 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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(Nov 11, 2008)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Johnny Winter
  • Directors: n, a
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • DVD Release Date: November 11, 2008
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001G5T6W6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,209 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Perry Celestino on January 2, 2009
Verified Purchase
Well some of us remember Johnny Winter when he came out as a "bonus baby" (one of the highest paid artists at the time- not really appropriate for a "bluesman") on his initial Columbia Records debut. That record was fantastic, but it was at the end of the "blues boom" of the 1960s. Winter went on to record some great things but got stuck between blues, rock and so on. We guitarists all loved him with his fingerpick style and soulful speed- a cross between Freddie King and B.B., with a great growling voice- not like Bob Hite and other "white" blues singers at the time.

This DVD is really the best released so far. I have waited two months to write a proper review of it. Winter has had several Japanese releases (bootleg) with some of these tunes on it, but they are not as good. The sound on this DVD makes it very special. If you only have one Johnny Winter DVD this should be it. A few years ago they released "Pieces and Bits" which, like this was a compilation of VHS released stuff, but it was a bit all over the place. This DVD is right on! I am a Blues lover and I will address this review to that part of the content.

The opening tunes are special- the sound this track not the best but Winter's interpretation of his brother Edgar's "Frankenstein" is a highlight (still the Winter Bros top chart hit!- even if Johnny didn't play on the record-(Ronnie Montrose- with ex-band member, guitarist, Rick Derringer as producer)-but this version is superb Johnny's graceful lead and his multi-instrumentalist brother's great drum solo- just fantastic!. Of course the presence of Tommy Shannon, later of "Double Trouble" with SRV on this tune and in several other parts of the DVD is also very special.
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I have been a Winter fan since the 70's, so far this is the best footage I have seen of him. Lot's of good interviews, some good close ups of him also. The quality on most of this is great, and yes some is blurry, but it is good just to have live footage. It shows Johnny in his prime, lots of excellent guitar solos too. He plays with a lot of different people, but no matter what he just shines like you would expect. Overall this is a must have for Winter fans, way better than (Pieces & Bits) or (Live At Time Square) for sure. I know some people will complain about it, so if you want perfection you might not like it. So far this is the best there is on DVD, so why not just watch and enjoy it. And he also does some great slide work, this is something I love to watch him do, what a master.
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Reason I'm giving this DVD such a high rating is because both the sound and picture quality are pristine. Total of fourteen foot-stomping blues rockers as only Johnny Winter is able to play. Couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the three song performance from the 1970 Danish Teen Club show of "Frankenstein", the bluesy "Be Careful Of The Floor" and "Drop The Bomb" + the three song live concert (looks like maybe a 16mm film) snippet from the Royal Albert Hall with brother Edgar on sax. I for one, had no idea the two toured together in 1970. Next up, is the almost ahead-of-it's time presentation of the total *ss-kicking "Mean Town Blues" - from a German Beat Club appearance. Following that, it's a two song 1973 Don Kirshner's Rock Concert gig of "Rock And Roll Hoochie Koo" and "Stone Country" - that I remember seeing on TV when I was in junior high. Sure sounds better in full stereo. Also seem to recall the one track here from Johnny's 1974 Soundstage show - a song written by Muddy Waters, the toe-tapping "Walking Through The Park". Wanted to mention the interview snips (appearing at the right place during this DVD) were nice. Simply, a must-have for all true Johnny Winter fans. Would make a memorable holiday gift.
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At last some great video of Johnny has come out, I don't know where they found all this stuff, but it is a quantum leap in quality from what has previously been available. Here's a brief synopsis:

The opening three tracks from Danish TV (1970) surprise especially by the bright, sharp video. You can even see the zits on Edgar's face. Good stuff, especially 'Be Careful With A Fool', although the best is still to come.

Next we break into part of an informal interview from 1970, someone says its 4 in the morning, joints are going round and both interviewer and interviewee, plus band and hangers-on, seem pretty wasted. After a few minutes, we go back to the music, but we'll be returning to this free-form interview a few more times on the DVD.

The roughest quality film comes next with the 3 Royal Albert Hall songs, starting with Johnny B Goode. Both film and sound are of a lower quality than the rest of the DVD, but seeing as there's space on the DVD for it, I'd rather it be included than not. However, the music itself is great.

We rejoin the previous interview scene next. In a long stoned rap that Johnny just manages to hold together, he says he believes he is able to levitate if he puts his mind to it, by tuning into the gravitational force on another planet. A great jam follows with just Randy Hobbs on bass, and Johnny pulls off an amazing impromptu version of 'Key To The Highway', without drums or rhythm of any sort other than Randy's basslines. Johnny seems so out of it, but it certainly doesn't affect his playing, which is crisp and tight.

Next we have a single clip of 'Mean Town Blues' from Germany in 1970, one of the highlights for me with some fantastic slide playing. Incredible track.
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