Letters to the Editor

Letters: So long, Johnny ‘Guitar’ Knox

Johnny Knox an inspiration

Re “Johnny ‘Guitar’ Knox, 1950-2016” (Page 4A, Sept. 22): I read with sadness about Johnny ‘Guitar’ Knox’s passing. His heart was big and his gift great. As an amateur musician, in the early 1980s he touched me with his kindness and encouragement when I joined him and others on the stage at the old Club 400 for the Sunday night blues jams he led. I may have played the notes, but he led the band in the music.

We played his 45 of “I’m Tore Down” in the jukebox at the El Charro restaurant on 21st Street over and over until we ran out of change, every time we went there to eat. He was that authentic.

Knox was Sacramento’s version of Mike Bloomfield, in that he could accurately, and with feeling, play in the correct phrasing, swing and cadence of every style of the blues from Delta to Chicago.

Sadly, Knox’s exhilarating ascent stopped when he met heroin. I wish today’s blues lovers could have met the man who inspired me – and continues to inspire me – on the smoky stage of the Club 400 back in 1983. The adrenaline of those moments hasn’t left me to this day. Thank you, Johnny. Go in Peace.

George N. Kostyrko


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