Alf Langrind, a guitarist and Notodden native, has been a Johnny Winter for many many years. Johnny had been one of Alf´s guitar heroes, and naturally through those years Alf had amassed a rather extensive collection of his albums. At the 2006 Notodden Blues Festival in 2006 Alf saw his chance to have Johnny sign a few of the album he had collected through the years.
The late great Johnny Winter appeared just one time in Notodden. The year was 2006, just two years on the heals of the landmark I’m a Bluesman, Johnny´s first album with new material in 12 years. The album reflected the artist´s emphasis on traditional electric blues rather than the blues-rock elements of a number of early John Winter albums.
To help out in this quest to get Johnny´s signature, Alf enlisted Bengt Halvard Odden´s help. Bengt, a longtime volunteer for the Notodden Blues Festival, and now the Mayor of the neighbouring municipality of Hjartdal, just happened to be Johnny Winter´s personal assistant during the 2006 festival, on hand to help our with whatever Johnny needed.
The festival and performance went well, but Johnny was tired, and as Bengt drove him back to his hotel at the Oslo national airport, not many words were exchanged. But Bengt did have Alf´s Johnny Winter collection with him, just in case album signing was possible. Johnny checked into the hotel, Bengt accompanied the tired artist. With him, Bengt had both the baggage – and the albums. After settling in, Johnny happened to catch a glimpse of the box of albums and asked to take a look. It was then that Bengt knew that it was now or never – and asked Johnny to sign the album he was holding. Johnny did sign, and looked carefully at the album cover, reading the liner notes, and pulling out the album to inspect. As Alf Langrind always took very good care of his albums, it was clean,
without a scratch. Johnny was pleased, and asked to look at another album.
Bengt dutifully handed the legendary artist the next album. Same procedure – inspect, read, approve, sign. And then the next album was signed, and the next, and the next. Until all 21 albums were signed, a process that took over 2 hours as Johnny took a look and pleasant trip into his artistic and musical past.
Alf Langrind has generously donated this complete collection of 21 albums to the Bluestown Rising kickstarter campaign – a rare treasure of Johnny Winters musical career, and a good story to go along with it!