Tunes For The Troops: Winger

March 17, 2007

The majority of the artists who we’ve featured in our Tunes For The Troops section have been artists who’ve written and performed songs in support of the troops, but aren’t artists who’ve made a name for themselves in the Music Industry. Thanks to CJ over at , who brought the new Winger album to my attention, I went and purchased the CD. Kip Winger and the band have done it once again, but this time even better than ever. Kip played at Fort Hood just last month. Unfortunately due to my job, I was unable to attend the show, as I was out on a call at the time he was performing. I read CJ’s article and thought I’d send Kip an email to see if he’d be willing to give me an interview, not really expecting to hear anything back from him. The thought in the back of my mind, was ‘Why would Kip Winger take the time to speak to someone like me, who just writes for a MilBlog. Someone who definitely isn’t going to be able to get him and the band the recognition they deserve.’ I was pleasantly surprised and excited when I got an email back from Kip, inviting me to call him on Friday to speak with him about the album.

Many of us remember the 1980’s with the Heavy Metal “Hair Bands” as they were termed back then. The band Winger formed in the late 1980’s and quickly became one of my favorite bands. I had the distinct pleasure of seeing them perform in Kansas City in the old Memorial Hall. It was a concert I’ll never forget. The band is back with a vengeance and with a new member. Band line-up is: Kip Winger on Bass and Vocals, Reb Beach on Guitar, Rod Morgenstein on Drums, John Roth on Guitar and Keyboards and their newest member Cenk Eroglu on Guitar and Keyboards. Kip and band mate, guitarist Reb Beach always have a message to share, in the songs they write. Their new album, Winger IV is no exception. The first 4 songs on the album tell a story from the perspective of a soldier. When asked about his inspiration for the album Kip said, “I wanted to write it from their perspective. I didn’t want to minimize what they’re going through and what they’re doing, so I tried to write it from their perspective. I can’t begin to imagine what it’s like to do what they do. I didn’t write it to get Thank You’s or public acclaim, but instead wanted to tell them (the troops) Thank You for the job that they do.” I think Kip and Reb did a fantastic job of writing from the perspective of a soldier and getting the message they wished to convey across. From the response Kip has gotten from soldiers, the troops must think so as well. Kip said that he’s gotten some really good letters from troops in response to Winger IV and what the band was trying to say. Kip commented that Winger doesn’t make an album unless they have something they feel needs to be said. With Winger IV, the message that comes across Loud and Clear is that Kip Winger and Winger, fully stand behind our troops, appreciate the sacrifices they make and support them 100%.

I asked Kip if he’s had the opportunity to play for the troops. As I shared earlier he has recently played at Fort Hood, but he’s also performed at Fort Bragg and other bases around the US. He shared that the response from the troops has been great. As of yet, Winger hasn’t been able to perform for the troops in Iraq or Afghanistan, but Kip shared that he would love to and would jump at the opportunity if it arose. I asked Kip about the cover of the album, which features a soldier dressed in Desert Camouflage, holding an M16 with 3 angels protectively watching over his shoulder. The front cover depicts this soldier with a blazing sun in the background and the back cover depicts the same soldier and angels under the full moon. Kip said that he told the artists Ethan Van Sciver and Moose Bauman what his concept was for the album and they just ran with it. In Kips words, “The result was phenomenal.” I fully agree with that. The artwork is fantastic and fully conveys the message Kip and the band are trying to share in their songs.

Kip and I discussed the anti-war protests, specifically Cindy Sheehan. I told him about the Gathering of Eagles in Washington DC on March 17th in response to the Cindy Sheehan and Jane Fonda led anti-war protests. Here’s what Kip had to say; “I mentioned her in the first song, “Right Up Ahead.” She protests against the war and she doesn’t mention that the troops are the reason that she has the right to say what she does. I understand that they say, ‘No more killing’ and I could stand behind that, but the way she goes about it and all, she’s not recognizing the fact that she can say those things because the troops are fighting to give her that right to protest. Unfortunately because of that, she doesn’t really have a leg to stand on.” We briefly discussed the political aspects and how that affects the troops. Kip said, “I can’t imagine how hard it’s got to be. With the Democrats being in control now and so publicly against the war, it’s got to be hard. I understand where they might think they’ve got no support.”

From Winger’s website, part of the press release about Winger IV:

The new album, according to Kip Winger is the result of my chemistry with Reb Beach. “Songwriting and composition are the most important thing to me”, continues Kip, In my opinion good songs are a combination of life, experience and accident. On WINGER IV all of those things came together. Reb and I are more comfortable with each other now and our musical roles with respect to each other are more clearly defined.

“IV” is definitely a career-defining album for the experienced musicians that created it. “This was a very magical record. I gave it everything I had, I thought of the overwhelming support I’ve had over the years by the die hard fans and really wanted to give them something worth listening to”, says Winger.

The record has a very diverse feel: the aggression of tracks like “Right Up Ahead”, “M-16″ or “Livin Just To Die”, the mystical elements “Disappear”, the lyricism and sheer melodies of “Blue Suede Shoes”, “On A Day Like Today” and the political elements of “Cant Take It Back” and “Generica”. The album has something for everyone.

“Several songs on this record reveals Kip, were inspired by my experience performing at a few military bases, after meeting some of the men and women who are in the line of fire. I wrote songs like “Blue Suede Shoes”, “Right Up Ahead” and “M-16″ as a way of giving something back to the soldiers who sacrifice themselves for the rest of us to live free”.

I asked Kip, if he had to pick just 1 song off the Winger IV album for the troops to hear, which song would that be. Without hesitation Kip said “Blue Suede Shoes,” which is a dedication to our troops. Kip feels that it’s the best song of the album, in fact he feels that it’s the best song they’ve ever done. This song is written from the perspective of a soldier, telling the reason they so proudly serve their country. Kip gave me permission to post any of the songs from the album, along with the lyrics here for you all to enjoy. Blue Suede Shoes is the song I’ve chosen and decided after listening to it, that I would create a video, which I think gives the words and music even MORE impact. After listening to the song and reading the lyrics, I think you’ll agree that Winger has a definite HIT on their hands!

Blue Suede Shoes
(Dedication to our troops)
Written by Kip Winger and Reb Beach ®

I am the son who believed in the call
Standing beside you I witness it all
Walk hand in hand through cities of clay
Far from the ocean so far from the ocean.

You wonder why
Don’t you know someone you’d die for?

Put on my blue suede shoes all for you…

I’m not a trophy you hang on your wall
Levy illusion rob Peter pay Paul
I brave the distance I take the fall
Of extreme words unspoken with deeper devotion

Free to decide
Salute the lives laid down before me

Put on my blue suede shoes ah….
Red, white and blue suede shoes all for you…

One look around
Won’t you see someone you live for?

Put on my blue suede shoes ah…
Red, white and blue suede shoes all for you…

If you’ve not done so yet, RUN don’t walk to your nearest record store and look for Winger’s new CD, Winger IV. Believe me you won’t be disappointed. Stop by the Official Winger website, where not only can you purchase this album, but their earlier releases, and also a video, “The Making Of Winger IV.”

I’d like to also THANK Kip Winger and the band Winger for their great Support of our Troops. I know it means a lot to them. I’d also like to THANK Kip for taking the time out of his busy schedule to speak with me on the phone Friday. It was a pleasure speaking with you.


11 Responses to “Tunes For The Troops: Winger”

  1. on March 17th, 2007 8:23 pm

    Anthony, you suck. My gosh darn schedule has prevented me from getting a phone call through to him when he told me he was available. I was supposed to try again on Tuesday.

    It is true that he has gone out of his way to speak to us troops when we’ve contacted him. Since synching up a phone call has been difficult he answered a few of my questions via email. Just wanted to share my jealousy at your interview. I’ve been a fan of Kip since his Alice Cooper days.

  2. Terri on March 17th, 2007 8:37 pm

    Me too, though you’d probably better be blaming me for this one CJ. LOL! Anthony didn’t even know about it until after he’d already emailed and said he’d talk to me.

  3. Anthony on March 17th, 2007 9:09 pm


    Don’t blame me, Terri did all the leg work on this one. I will shift all blame to her. Haha

  4. Terri on March 17th, 2007 9:11 pm

    I’ll take the blame, because I didn’t even tell you that I had emailed him, until after he emailed back. Then I was so excited about it I tried calling you and you didn’t answer your darn phone. LOL! But CJ, I did at least make sure that I put you in the video.

  5. Sylvia Johnston on March 18th, 2007 2:46 pm

    That song is awesome!! I have 6 adopted soldiers in Iraq, Korea, and Afghanistan, and I am going to send each of them a copy of that CD!! A REAL one, not a burned copy!! And as a Soldiers’ Angel, I loved the cover of the album! Hope I can get a poster of it. Thanks!

  6. Terri on March 18th, 2007 3:09 pm

    The CD booklet unfolds into a poster of the cover. You can also purchase an autographed copy of the poster at Winger’s website.

  7. on March 18th, 2007 3:26 pm

    Well, okay. I forgive. Not sure what I can add in my interview. You also beat me to the video thing… >:oP~~~~~

  8. Terri on March 18th, 2007 3:34 pm

    LOL! Oh CJ I’m sure that you’ll be able to add a totally different perspective than myself, considering that you’re one of the soldierS that song is dedicated to. The only thing that Kip asked of me when posting the song/video was to make it non-downloadable. There are several other songs that you can make videos with on that album though. I still love ya CJ!

  9. James Talbot on March 19th, 2007 1:51 pm

    Hi- this is WINGER’s manager.. does anyone know how we can the CD over the soldiers in Iraq etc.? we’d love to send some to the troops or at least get the tunes some exposure on Military Radio.

    Any help?


  10. Terri on March 19th, 2007 2:03 pm

    James I’ve sent you an email. I might be able to help you with that.

  11. Nancy on May 23rd, 2007 3:11 pm


    I am interested in discussing a couple of things with you regarding your article/interview with Kip Winger and your video. Please email me when you have a moment.

    Thank you very much!


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