On tour at the height of his powers - a Young John Watson indeed: Johnny ''Guitar'' Watson - Livekonzert 1977
Here he covers Herbie Hancock and Grover Washington Jr, plays and sings Ain't That A Bitch
, his current hit of the time, and a most operatic Gangster of Love
in a very well shot concert from Radio Bremen back in the day. He is young, fresh and most definitely not phoning it in from the bar. This is the total showman at work.
Not to mention being the funk fashion plate as well: dig that whole 1970s semiotic smorgasbord of those crazy platform shoes, that silver lame jumpsuit with that collar, the hair, the shades and that sparkling fedora.
And did I mention it was well shot ? So, dig that Texas cheater -- like his fellow Lone Star blues guitar men Clarence Gatemouth Brown, Albert Collins and Guitar slim, he uses a capo -- and how he picks with his thumb. And you get to see it all.
For quite a bit of biography, career overview granular in detail and a few sample licks, see Premiere Guitar's Forgotten Heroes: Johnny "Guitar" Watson
and, for more analysis, also, Acid Logic: Interesting Mothers For Ya - Johnny "Guitar" Watson
Also, here is The life and death of a guitar slinger
, a memorial and meditation by Andy Gill of the Independent, written upon Watson's death, while singing Superman Lover
or so the legend goes on stage in Yokohama, Japan in 1996.
And, for the record, here is the cover of his A Real Mother For You
. That is his real mother, too.
Originally, there were ample servings of Watson in concert, usually in Europe and, anyway, back in the recent day, I was going to do a smorgasbord megapost featuring, among other things, at least three very different presentations of Gangster of Love from three different excellent concerts with Mr. Watson decked out three different sets of stylin' funky chic threads to boot. But alas, I came by to find almost all of it taken down -- apparently his heirs try to make YouTube pull them as soon as any live performances are posted. Which makes no sense to me -- it would seem the more exposure he gets, the more they should benefit in the end. So, um, enjoy your rosebud while ye may -- this just showed up and is so very fine and just too darn hip to not post.