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Stevie Ray Vaughan
Posted by: McQ on Monday, August 27, 2007

My friend Kevin Whalen at Pundit Review reminds me today its been 17 years since we lost a true musical legend.

October 3, 1954 – August 27, 1990

Kick back, enjoy. In Memoriam.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

I got to see tne new Lynryd Skynryd perform live...

Along with .38 Special.

A very, VERY nice show. Stevie’s family does a better than fair god of carrying on the legend.
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
I attended SRV"s last concert at Alpine Valley, Wisconsin. At the time, I was working for Ticketron, which was bought later by Ticketmaster. I got the first eight tickets out of the machine the moment they went on sale. (Which was sorta against the rules.) 5th row seats. I went with 7 friends of mine. Section 3; Row B; Seat 1. I have the stub in a picture frame - I’m looking at it now. Ironically, all it says is "Eric Claption," who was the headlinder. The ticket was $36.00. Parking was $2.50, according to the stub.

We arrived late, just as Buddy Guy was finishing. (We got to straight to the front - we felt like royalty.) Then Robert Cray came on. Then SRV. Then Clapton. At the end, everyone came on stage, including Jimmy Vaughn. The last tune thet played was Sweet Home Chicago. SRV got a solo, like everyone else.

SRV was insane. My main memory is SRV standing next to a 50 foot amp stack, by himself, just wailing. Me, looking at him, and vice versa. Crossfire, Couldn’t Stand the Weather, etc. Just insane. I never saw someone play guitar like that before, nor since. Not even close.

I remember leaving Alpine Valley that night. I remember walking by the helicopters. They were parked in the back, where we had parked. It was foggy.

My final memory is driving back to Madison in a van, drinking warm Busch, and almost crashing more than once due to the fog. It was really, really, foggy that night and our driver, Wally, probably shouldn’t have been driving.

I remember waking up the next morning and a friend of a friend came over and told us SRV had died in a helicopter crash. I was blown away. I had literally never seen someone so alive that night - SRV was so happy, and on top of the world.

What a waste. What a freaking waste.

SRV was amazing. I had never seen him before, and I have never seen anything like him since.

Thanks for the memory, McQ.
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
I saw his second show at the Ritz in New York on New Year’s Eve 1988. It is kind of blur this many years later but he kicked a**. The Ritz was really a club and I remember watching him from over the railing on the second level. He had the smoke machine on full blast and he just kept his head down and jammed. I am really grateful that I got to see him live before he died.
Written By: Anonymous
Thanks for the memory, McQ.
Thank you for the memory, MK.
Written By: McQ
He used to let me play that guitar. It was utterly crazy: he had that thing strung with .013-gauge strings. That is extraordinarily heavy for a rock guitarist. To understand this and then listen to the notes that he bent is to know that the strength of his left hand was phenomenal.

My brother Bryan was the Master Electrician on the main stage at the New York State Fair one year when Stevie played there. A major thunderstorm blew up during the show. Bryan was up in the rigging of the roof with a knife in his teeth, cutting loose various drapery that constituted very dangerous "sails" in a fifty-knot wind. The rain was blowing sideways across the stage. (Bryan told me that it looked exactly like the "Couldn’t Stand The Weather" video.) The other guys in the band had left the stage and everybody ran for cover. The P.A. was shut down, and the only thing left powered was Stevie’s stage-rig, and he would not quit. He stood out there on deck playing by himself, shading his guitar out of the sideways rain with his hat. He could have gotten killed that night, doing that.

The first time I ever met him, he’d opened for The Band at the Geneva Theater in Geneva, New York. After his set, I was standing in front of my dimmer racks in the wings, and he tapped me on the shoulder.

"Can I stand here and watch?"

"Man," I told him, "You tell me where you want to stand, and I’ll move my gear."

He was a real sweetheart, in my experience.

And he and Robert Cray saved the blues in the 1980’s.

He was right on time.
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—
I didn’t catch on to stevie until a few years after he was gone, while I was taking guitar lessons. I remember buying the "live from Austin" VHS and watching this song over and over and over and over and over...

Thanks so much for posting this. It brought a smile to my face on an otherwise bland morning.
Written By: marc
I saw Stevie open up for Robert Plant, he should have been the headliner.
Written By: salvage
URL: http://
An outrageous loss. I had the opportunity to see him in concert shortly before the crash. I was a teenager, busy, strapped for cash, so I said "I would catch him the next time around." Then the crash. I think about him (and my decision)everytime a friend tells me about a good show I ought to check out. It sounds trite, but SRV’s death made me appreciate the need to say yes to opportunities when they present themselves.

Thank you for posting this.
Written By: Tim
URL: http://
"It sounds trite, but SRV’s death made me appreciate the need to say yes to opportunities when they present themselves."

I should have gone to see Stevie in early 1990 when he rolled through Atlanta on Jeff Beck’s Guitar Shop tour. I was home that night with nothing serious to do, I could have parked the damned bike right at the backstage door of the damned Omni and I didn’t do it.


I went out with Hank, Jr. and The Headhunters and never had another chance before he died.
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—
I’m watching that again and again and I just wanna say:

Stevie’s physical strength that I mentioned was fueled with one of the most intense guitar passions in many generations. It hurts to play like that — even for a guy like him and probably especially for him because of what he’s throwing at it. Watch and listen closely to what’s going on at about 8:57 in the countdown of that clip, during "Voodoo Chile". That is all left-hand for about ten seconds: he never picks a string with his right hand. With his left hand, he’s muting five of six strings at once, at extremely high volume, and only the notes that he wants out of all that monster are the ones you hear, and you hear every one of them with authority. And, he’s throwing all these slinky bent notes all over the melody line, and doing all this — just making it up as he goes along (this is the thing that electric rock guitar took from jazz: virtuoso improvisation) — he’s doing all this on a guitar that just about nobody here could fret one note on without almost literally bleeding on it.

He was a flat-out amazing motherf*cker.

He lived and died for it.
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—
I discovered SRV in early 1988, bored with popular music at the time. I was looking for something different, new, yet old. If that makes any since. A friend of mine worked at a record store and talked me into my first SRV experience. I was absolutely floored when I put needle to vinyl. I am 45 now and Stevie is still my favorite of all time, hell I have that SRV logo tattooed on my left bicep. I rode around after my dad’s funeral in ’01 listening to "Life by the Drop" over and over. That man’s music got me through a lot of tough times in my life. It seems just like yesterday I heard the news that we lost Stevie and I sat down right in front of the TV and cried. I never got to see Stevie live, but I own every DVD & CD released. That’s all I can do to keep alive the spirit of my HERO...Stevie Ray Vaughan!
Written By: R. Guffey
URL: http://

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