Before Winger was the butt of many jokes, the Denver-bred Bon Jovi doppelganger and his bandmates undoubtedly had busloads of Betties on standby in every ZIP code and printed their own money, thanks to two consecutive albums that went platinum (a feat nearly unheard of in the Digital Age). Little did they know then, however, that they were headed for heartbreak, as Nirvana soon staged a hostile takeover of the Hessian empire and branded Winger and its shaggy-maned counterparts as Nevermattered. A few years later, the act was further rendered laughably irrelevant to anyone but hard-core fans (no doubt the same minority who purchased the singer's three subsequent solo albums) when Beavis and Butt-head creator Mike Judge introduced a haplessly dorky character named Stewart, who was perpetually clad in a Winger T-shirt. More than a decade later, the band is back with the original lineup and a new album that's said to rival its 1988 debut, but clearly still stinging from the association as it tours strip-mall bars across the country — which, when you used to play arenas, has gotta, like, um, suck or something.
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