Music News

Happy Birthday, Kip Winger!

And the world's catchiest and arguably most popular song about statutory rape is now 23 years creepier. That's right, it's been 23 years since "Seventeen" hit the airwaves, and the man who penned it is now a half-centurian. Here are a few factoids you may not have known about new AARP member Kip "All Teeth" Winger.

Charles Frederick Kip Winger is the offspring of jazz musicians, born and raised in Denver, Colorado. If you've seen a Winger video, you know that the guy is an acrobatic dancer, but there's more to his prancing than meets the eye with Kip, whose sign is Cancer.

He has been a practicing danseur since his teens, and his lifelong passion for the orchestral grandeur of Claude Debussy and Igor Stravinsky has finally found itself expressed with his piece "Ghosts." "Ghosts" has now been performed by the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and the San Francisco Ballet to great acclaim.

Oh, the humanity -- that the same man who gave us the lyrics "She's a magic mountain, she's a leather glove, oh she's my soul, it must be love" and "Daddy say's she's too young, but she's old enough for me" and appeared in Playgirl magazine could be behind works of art performed by well-respected institutions of culture. Yes, the best teeth in hair metal is also a respected composer and ballet dancer. Take that, Bret Michaels.

If we step back a few years prior to the debut Winger LP, we find Kip in another (moderately) respectable position, working in Alice Cooper's band for the original shock rocker's first album -- back as a sober face-painted man. Kip played bass and toured behind the album Constrictor, helping to spur ol' Alice back into his rightful place atop the totem pole of theatrical rock music and, eventually, allow him to sell really big hot dogs at his Cooperstown restaurants. It was Alice who suggested the name Winger. 

So celebrate Kip Winger's birthday in Kip style. Check out some ballet on YouTube (I've been told anything by Balanchine is a good starting point), floss your teeth a whole bunch, but don't send any dirty texts to a 17-year-old.  

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David Von Bader