I love Johnny Winter. As a guitarist, I am still in awe of his playing. That said, this concert was a bummer.
I went to this show with my friend Jim. We drove up from Miami to Ft. Lauderdale. Summers on the Beach was a club located right on Atlantic Blvd facing the beach and the ocean. Generally, it was a pretty fun place to hang out.
This concert was in late June, and if you have ever been to South Florida in late June, you know the heat is brutally oppressive. There is no way to comfortably exist without air conditioning. This sets the stage for the scene which was to unfold at this particular show.
We all know that club owners are notoriously sketchy, but they were particularly so in South Florida. Anyway, it seems that the owner had a brilliant idea on how to boost sales at the bar—turn off the air conditioning. The packed club turned into a sweatbox. Jim and I stood there, dripping sweat, waiting for Johnny to take the stage.
When he finally took the stage, it was a disaster. Johnny was kind of tall, so his head was right near the low-hanging stage lights, which also give off a lot of heat. He immediately began sweating profusely and cursing, yelling at people about the intolerable conditions. He played a little, stopped, yelled at some more people, then played another song. Finally, in a fit of disgust after playing about three or four songs, he stepped to the microphone and said: “This is bullshit! I’m playing one more song and then I am out of here.” And that’s what he did. It was very disappointing. Thankfully, I would get to see the legend perform another time before he died, but that is a story for another time.
Rock and Roll!