Today the rock and roll world is mourning the loss of the legendary Johnny Winter. Johnny was one half of the duo with brother Edgar called The Winter Brothers. The Grammy winning artist was famous for the hit song 'Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo',and rated # 63 of the top 100 guitarists of all time Rolling Stone Magazine He may be gone, but the good times with the legend are well remembered by Central Florida musician Michael Logan. Michael, or as his friends call him "Mike", knew Johnny Winter very well. So well he affectionately referred to him as "brother Johnny". Logans band 'Tin House' toured with the both of the Winter Brothers in the 1970's. Logan says he was really sad to hear the news of Johnny's sudden death in Switzerland.
They first met "When I was working backstage at the West Palm Pop Festival in 1969" said Logan. They met again in Bithlo 1970 when Tin House shared the stage with the Johnny for the 'Winters End Pop Festival' which was a huge outdoor concert. The Tin House band included Mike Logan, 17 (drums and vocals) and Floyd Radford, 16 (lead guitar vocals) and Jeff Cole (lead vocal bass). "Tin House got 4 standing ovations that day" says Logan and made such an impression they were asked to become the opening act.
Later that year says Logan "Johnny's manager Steve Paul, called me and said I want you guys to sign with me and CBS Records." Soon the self proclaimed "country hicks from Winter Park" were headed for the big time in New York. This was a big step forward for a kid who says with a chuckle "I used to disguise my voice and call producers trying to land a deal with my moms pink princess phone! " The entire band found themselves living in a mansion next door to none other than Johnny Winter. "We moved into a 7 bedroom 3 story house on 40 acres in Staatsburg NY, right next to Johnny. I had the chance to spend time with Him and Carol( his girlfriend at the time) going back and forth to Edgar's house in Clinton Corners NY."
During that period they recorded their first album which was produced by Rick Derringer ( his first time producing), and featuring Edgar Winter. They made lots of memories, as one would expect there was plenty of sex drugs and rock and roll. Logan says his only vice was "lots of beer" but admits his friend did have a penchant for the harder stuff. "Johnny was a really nice guy" says Logan who adds "he did have a bit of an ego at times, but he was lots of fun." He recalls at times it was hard to tell if Johnny was high or maybe a losing it. "One time he showed up at our place wearing this crazy sparking get up carrying a candle....he stood in front of our tv for what seemed an hour. Suddenly he started shouting did you see it? What we asked...to which he replied A planet just passed my head! We all just humored him by agreeing, but inside we were all concerned for his health and well being. There was also a time when we found him about 20 feet high in the branches of a tree...sure was hard getting him down! We never knew what possessed him to get up there either" says Logan.
One of his most frightening experiences with Johnny was the time Johnny decided he wanted to drive. "Everybody had a band station wagon back in those days" says Logan and Johnny decided he wanted to drive. This was a frightening prospect since Johnny was practically blind due to his albino condition. Logan says he sat in the back seat for " the scariest 20 mile ride of his life!"
They shared some really good times at all the hot spots of the time. Tin House also did touring dates with the brothers across the USA and in Canada. They made appearances at places such as the Filmore East, 1970 Rock and Roll Revival Tiger Stadium 1970, The Capital Theatres in both Montreal and New York, Nassau Theater Long Island . They shared the stage with greats such as Grand Funk Railroad,The Allman Brothers, Buddy Miles, Humble Pie with Peter Frampton, and rubbed elbows with other music greats like Paul McCartney, and the Rolling Stones as well as pop icons like Andy Warhol.
It all came to a sudden end over a management conflict. "The double use of band-mate Floyd Radford caused the eventual demise of the band" said Logan. Radford, who Logan says could "out play anybody on the circuit those days" had been playing "double duty" as part of Winters band, and also with Tin House. "When Tin House had to give up a lucrative set of dates so Floyd could do one show with them ....I left the band" said Logan. Over the years he remained in contact with Johnny and says I will always remember him says Logan who adds "I will always thank him for what he did for Tin House."