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Paul Winger

Although bassist and vocalist Kip Winger had originally performed in a band called Winger with two of his brothers in 1980, hard rock / glam metal band Winger was officially launched in New York City in 1987. Fronted by Kip, the band also featured guitarist Reb Beach, drummer Rod Morgenstein, and guitarist / keyboardist Paul Taylor. Signed to Atlantic Records, the group issued their debut album, Winger, in 1988. The album was an international success and reached Number 21 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart. Winger featured several of the band’s most popular songs including “Headed for a Heartbreak” (Number 19 on the Hot 100) and “Seventeen” (Number 26). The album featured a guest appearance from Frank Zappa’s son Dweezil, who played guitar on the band’s version of Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze.” The group released their second album, In the Heart of the Young, in 1990, which reached Number 15 on the Billboard 200. The platinum-selling release included the Top 20 hit “Miles Away” plus “Can’t Get Enuff” and “Easy Come Easy Go.” The group then went on to promote the album on a 230-date tour with Kiss, Scorpions, ZZ Top, Extreme and Slaughter. After a three-year wait, Winger returned in 1993 with the album Pull, which included the single “Down Incognito.” Due to the popularity of grunge rock, Winger’s style of metal was no longer in fashion and the release was not as successful as their previous two albums. Winger broke up in 1994 and Kip Winger pursued a solo career while Reb Beach became a popular touring sideman for artists like Alice Copper and Dokken. The band members – Winger, Beach, Morgenstein, Taylor, and new guitarist John Roth - reconvened in 2001 to record “On the Inside” for the compilation release The Very Best of Winger (2002). The members chose to continue their reunion – without Taylor - and released the albums IV (2006), Karma (2009), and Better Days Comin’ (2014). Surprisingly, the latter release rose to Number 85 on the Billboard 200 and proved that the band’s style of music was back in vogue. With guitarist / keyboardist Paul Taylor back on board, Winger released the album Seven in 2023 and climbed the Japanese Albums chart to Number 36.


©Copyright Music Story Stephen Schnee 2023

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