October 7, 2006

(was listening to some SRV and had to repost this)

Stevie Ray Vaughan Posted by Hello

Tears for Stevie.....

I was searching for a photo of Stevie when I came across this. WOW. This really spoke volumes to me. He truly was one of the greatest blues/rock guitarist...the person with this tattoo wanted to communicate that permantely on his arm! Awesome!

I had the complete and total honor of meeting Stevie once. It was at the Golden Bear in Huntingon Beach. It was a hot summer day and when we got there in the evening the sun was setting over the ocean. Very California. But walking into the club, suddenly it felt like we were worlds away in a real Blues club. The room was dark, filled with smoke and the smell of beer. Stevie came out and just started playing. I don't think he took a break for hours.

Afterwards, my friend, Nuel, and I went up to meet him. I don't think he had smiled once on stage all night, and he was wearing his usual hat...but when we met he shook my hand and gave me a warm smile. I think I just said something stupid like "that was great". I remember noticing that he was totally soaked in sweat, and seemed really wiped out like he had given every ounce of his energy and passion to his performance. Yet in a way, he played like no one else was in the room...just him, his Fender and his band.

We've lost a lot of the great musicians to tragedy. For some reason this one (and Michael Hutchens) got to me the most. I have tears remembering when I heard the news. Was it because I had met him? Or did I just resonate with him as a person? I know it was more than the music. He seemed kind of shy and humble to me. He had overcome a drug addiction, he had just started a new tour - this was truly tragic. He so was damn good.

The tragic end came on August 26, 1990. Stevie and Double Trouble had just finished a gig that included an encore jam with
Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, Jimmie Vaughan, and Robert Cray. After the concert they boarded a helicopter bound for Chicago. Minutes after it took off, the helicopter crashed, killing Stevie and the other four passengers. He was only 35 years old.

RIP Stevie Ray


Bruce said...

Stevie Ray was, and still is, one of the all-time greats. I love his music; absolutely love it. I never had the chance to see him perform live, but I can say without any doubt, that I've seen the Austin City Limits tape/dvd 20-25 times. You could tell by watching him that he loved to play live. Eric Clapton once said that Stevie was the only person that could make him put down his guitar. That, my dear, is high praise.

Layla said...

Wow, that sure is high praise! I had never heard that before, thanks for sharing it, Bruce!

Ben Heller said...

Great post Layla. I can't think of anything to add other than he was without doubt a most incredible virtuoso Guitarist.

Layla said...

Ben, agreed!

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