Two weeks after Taylor Hawkins’ untimely death at the age of 50, classic rocker Edgar Winter has shared a cover that he and Hawkins recorded in remembrance of Winter’s brother, the legendary blues guitarist Johnny Winter.
Winter and Hawkins reinterpreted Johnny’s 1970 song ‘Guess I’ll Go Away’ as a part of Winter’s album Brother Johnny. That album is still in the post-production stages and will feature contributions from the likes of Ringo Starr, Billy Gibbons, and Michael McDonald. In honour of Hawkins and his memory, however, Winter has opted to preview the album by releasing Hawkins’ vocal take on ‘Guess I’ll Go Away’.
Winter explained that he hadn’t actually met Hawkins before producer Ross Hogarth suggested bringing in the Foo Fighters drummer. Nevertheless, Hawkins was enthusiastic about contributing to the record and paying tribute to the late Johnny.
Winter also shared a message fondly remembering his former collaborator. “I had only just met Taylor, and barely got to know him, but I was so impressed by his sincerity, positive energy, and pure enthusiasm,” Winter writes. “He had a unique spontaneous style different from anyone I’ve ever worked with before. I can be very opinionated — but as soon as heard what he was doing, I knew it was best to step back, stay out of the way, and let him do his thing. That session was an experience I will never forget.”
“When I tried to open a business discussion, he simply would not hear of it. He said — I don’t want ANYTHING for doing this, I just want’a get out there and Rock,” Winter continues. “And Rock HE DID! I don’t know if it was out of respect for Johnny, a desire to help me in what I was doing, compassion for the nature of the project, or his friendship with Ross. Most probably all these things — but whatever it was, he gave it his ALL!”
Adding: “I listened to it last night, and couldn’t help but cry. It’s a song about the lure of sex, the danger of drugs, and the Love of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Johnny wrote it around the time of his first rehab, and it expresses feelings almost everyone I know has been through in one way or another.
“I would guess (like most all musicians) Taylor couldn’t help but identify with it. All I know is he put his whole heart and soul into it, and I am so sad that I never found a way to thank him properly as he so deeply and profoundly deserved,” Winter concluded.
Listen to Hawkins and Winter on ‘Guess I’ll Go Away’ down below.