Edgar Winter talks to Buch

Posted on 2013-08-14.


By Jim Bucher

Can you believe it’s been a little over 40 years since the Edgar Winter Group brought us their third studio album They Only Come Out At Night, but this by far was the band’s biggest because of two huge hits, “Free Ride” and the iconic “Frankenstein” with its dueling drums and one of the first times a synthesizer was used as a main instrument in a song.

Edgar Winter can’t believe it either.

In a recent phone call he explained the origins of the hit and how they weren’t even going to use it on an album.

All I did was tell him that I blew up a few speakers blaring “Frankenstein” on my stereo and he took it from there for the next 15 minutes.

“I wrote the riffs to that in 1968 and we played the song at Woodstock and all over, but never thought of recording it, plus it was 15 or 20 minutes long, but people loved it. At that time we called the song, “The Double Drum Solo.”

“We were in the studio and as they say, always let the tape roll, so we were trying to play with it, cut it down and add this and that, we had tape machines running, tape all over the place, on the back of chairs, on the floor, because back then you had to physically cut the master tape and we didn’t know how we were going to get it all back together and my drummer says, wow, it looks like Frankenstein, drawing the analogy of piecing it all back together and creating a life.” Winter says.

And that’s how the song got its name, plus that cool synthesizer sound, well there was nothing else like it at the time.

“We were hailed as using that technology (The Synthesizer) on the cutting edge and accused because it was very controversial. People thought of it as dehumanizing music. Look I liked all the old science fiction movies like Forbidden Planet, they used the synthesizer for the scary sounding music.” Winter says.

“Always loved it, so I thought to use it to create unique sounds and I was the first guy to use a strap on my keyboard, seemed so obvious.

“So combining the drums and the synthesizer we ended up with this wonderful tune that audiences just went crazy for.” Winter continues.

“Frankenstein” and many other EWG hit’s you’ll hear this Sunday night, as he headlines an all star line-up along with Ten Years After, Canned Heat, Rick Derringer and Pat Travers, all together for The Classic Rock ‘N’ Blues Show at 7:30 p.m.

At 66 Winter says he’s happy to be performing, admits to being on top of his game, loves his fans and looks forward to the Fraze stage.

“The tour is going great, we’re all having a great time and I’d like to thank our fans, the world over in the heartland and in Ohio for following my career that’s what it’s all about. Thanks for coming out to our shows, and letting us entertain you. It means the world to us and we love you and get ready to rock n’ roll.’ Edgar says.

And I’m told Edgar will be performing the extended version of Frankenstein. I was always disappointed when the radio stations would play the edited cut, but not Sunday night.

Rock ON!


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