No end in sight

  • From left, Rick Derringer, Johnny Winter and Edgar Winter. Derringer and Edgar Winter are on tour in Hawaii for four concerts to honor the late Johnny Winter. (Courtesy of Les Hershhorn)
  • Rick Derringer (Courtesy of Les Hershhorn)

KAILUA-KONA — Rick Derringer has toured the world as a musician for more than 50 years, but he still considers Hawaii to be one of the best stops.

“Hawaii is one of the most special places in the whole world,” said Derringer. “We find every excuse to come here, as opposed to finding an excuse not to come here.”


Derringer and his band, along with the Edgar Winter Group, are in the middle of their “Still Alive and Well – A Tribute to Johnny Winter” Hawaii Tour 2018. After shows on Oahu, Maui and Kauai this week, the duo will be at the Honokaa People’s Theatre at 7 p.m. Saturday for their Big Island concert.

Derringer is a longtime guitarist and vocalist who has spent his career both as a solo artist and with musical acts such as the McCoys. In his time as a musician, he’s recorded hit songs such as “Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo” and “Hang on Sloopy,” a No. 1 single with the McCoys. Derringer said he got his start as a musician on his ninth birthday, when his parents bought him his first guitar.

“I began to play instantly,” said Derringer. “I learned it so fast, I blew everybody’s mind.”

Despite his long career since then, Derringer does not see this week’s Hawaii Tour as being the last.

“Every time I have the opportunity to play and to perform for a great audience, I do,” he said. “I play around 50-100 shows a year, and I don’t plan on stopping.”

What makes this tour special to Derringer is the location of Hawaii and the inclusion of music by Johnny Winter, Edgar Winter’s brother who died in 2014. Both Derringer’s band and Edgar Winter Group will play Johnny Winter’s songs at the show.

“He’s one of the unsung heroes of rock and roll,” said Derringer. “There’s a lot of people in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and he deserves to be one of them. He deserves that recognition.”

General admission tickets for the concert at the People’s Theatre are $48. Doors for the show open at 6 p.m.

Derringer said that he wants as many people from the Big Island as possible to attend Saturday’s concert, and that the audience can expect the same energetic show that he and Edgar Winter have been performing since their careers began in the 1960s.


“We’ve been doing this for so long, we feel that we can guarantee that the audience leaves feeling like it’s the best show they’ve ever been to,” said Derringer. “I’m known for being a good guitar player, and I’ve been doing it for years and love it. That’s what makes every concert special.”

For more information and tickets visit or call 896-4845