Interchords - The Sky Is Crying
This is a transcription of the Promo CD:
"Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble -
Interchords: The Sky Is Crying Stevie Ray Vaughan Interview Disc."
The back cover of the disc reads: "This is an interview with
Jimmie Vaughan, along with Chris Layton and Tommy Shannon of
Double Trouble, conducted by Dan Neer of Neer Perfect Productions.
The excerpts contained here cover the making of The Sky Is Crying,
as well as selected quotes highlighting the illustrious but too
short career of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble. As an
added bonus, Dan has included some quotes from an interview he did
with Stevie Ray Vaughan."
Transcription by Tony Wojnar firstname.lastname@example.org, a vital member of
The TexasFlood Typin' Team.
click here for a text version of this interview
click on this CD cover to see the back cover
"The Sky Is Crying"
Stevie Ray Vaughan Interview Disc
JV: Jimmie Vaughan
CL: Chris Layton
TS: Tommy Shannon
1> Putting "The Sky Is Crying" together 2:38 JV
2> Any additional production? 0:21 JV
3> "The Sky Is Crying" 3:42 JV
4> "Boot Hill" 4:14 TS/CL
5> "Empty Arms" 3:26 TS/CL
6> "Little Wing" 6:45 JV
7> "Wham" 2:23 JV
8> "May I Have A Talk With You" 4:43 JV
9> "Close To You" 3:08 CL
10> "Chitlins Con Carne" 3:54 TS/CL
11> "Life By The Drop" 4:30 JV/TS/CL
12> Jimmie's favorite songs on The Sky Is Crying 0:56 JV
13> Any more Stevie Ray Vaughan material? 0:60 JV
14> Stevie Ray Vaughan the perfectionist 1:41 TS/CL
15> How SRV progressed as a guitarist 1:19 TS/CL
16> First time they heard Stevie Ray Vaughan 1:50 TS/CL
17> Beginnings of Double Trouble 1:03 CL/TS
18> Montreaux Jazz Festival 1:07 CL/TS
19> David Bowie tour 1:48 CL/TS
20> The Fire and the Fury tour with Jeff Beck 0:29 CL/TS
21> Stevie Ray's death 0:24 TS
Stevie Ray Vaughan
22> Learned guitar from brother Jimmie 0:46
23> On Hendrix 1:30
24> "The Blues" 1:24
1. Putting "The Sky Is Crying" together
- Dan Neer:
- Now, was getting this record together a daunting task?
I mean, did you have like truckloads of tapes to go through,
to get it down to these ten songs?
- Jimmie Vaughan:
- Uh, there was quite a bit of stuff! There was
literally a van-full! There was a lot of tapes to go
- Did you, like, set up some ground rules for yourself?
- Uh, no, I just did it. I just listened, and listened,
and listened. I had a lot of cassettes of the main
stuff. And I would just, uh, I just went through and
picked some songs and then had to go find 'em. And I was
short, and then I'd have to go back, or I'd hear about
some song, you know, that they did. I guess it was kind
of like detective work.
- Yeah, kind of. And how long of a period did you start
listening and going through? Was it a real long time?
- It was several months. I mean, I didn't ...not "nose to
the grindstone," twenty four hours a day, but...
- When you listen to The Sky is Crying it's obvious that
this is really "primo" stuff, really good Stevie Ray.
And I think that when a lot of folks heard that this CD
was coming out they were concerned, you know, that we
would be hearing outtakes, or just stuff that, you know,
never should have come out and stuff. Did you have that
on your mind?
- Well I would...that's what I was concerned about, too. I
didn't want that to happen. And at first, when I started
listening to all the stuff, I didn't know whether or
not...I didn't really know if there was even gonna BE a
record, I mean, if there was enough suitable stuff for a
studio record. 'Cause from MY experience with recording
(I've put out a few albums), you usually put out the
stuff that's good enough to put out. You put it out!
You know, I don't know too many people that have a lot of
great stuff just sittin' around, you know?
- Yeah, but...
- I mean, I... and he actually, I guess, you know, over the
years, he just had extra stuff. I mean, everybody has
extra stuff, but in your mind when you put a record out,
it's not the "good" stuff, you know what I'm saying? You
put the "good" stuff out.
- You think...
- Right. This is actually LOTS of "good" stuff on this
- But I just kept finding, you know, I'd find another one,
and then, it just sort of fell together like that...
2. Any additional production?
- How much additional production did you have to do,
- All I did was really mix it and say I think it needs to
be more like "this". It needs more guitar or less
guitar, or whatever, and clean the stuff up, and make it
sound like a record, that's all. I mean, nothing
really...no big surgery or anything like that.
- 'Cause it was all pretty much here.
3. "The Sky Is Crying"
- Not only is this collection of songs a tribute to Stevie
Ray, but it seems like it's a tribute to Stevie Ray's
heroes. For example, let's take the title piece. Why
don't you tell use about the people who originally did
The Sky Is Crying, and how Stevie Ray felt about them?
- Well, The Sky Is Crying is really an Elmore James song.
It's really a sort of a standard blues. It's a blues
that pretty much every blues singer, you know, like all
of our heroes and all of Stevie's heroes like Albert
King, uh, anybody, Buddy Guy, B.B. King any of those
guys has probably recorded or sung The Sky Is Crying...
- Clapton did a version of it...
- Clapton, uh, you name it...I mean it's just one of the
songs that you have to learn. If you don't know that,
then you don't know your stuff, you know?
- And it's a song that Stevie did all the way through his
career, and recorded it a couple of times. But it was
also a blues song, you know? A lot of times the record
company, they don't want to hear, they don't want to hear
eight blues, slow blues on the album. So that's my only
reason to think why it wasn't on the record, because it
was, it just didn't fit what the album was going to be at
- I just think it's a tremendous, tremendous version of
- To me this record is SCARY!
4. "Boot Hill"
- Boot Hill is a song that apparently he's done a bunch of
- Tommy Shannon:
- Yeah. Been doing (it) for a long time.
- You want to talk about it?
- Sure! Yeah, it's one of those songs, you know, that were
done live before, and Stevie was real hesitant about
recording it because of the lyrics, you know. It's, uh...
- It's a NASTY song!
- Yeah, it's a pretty nasty song, and you know he was
trying to really put across a good message, so he had
some trouble with that at first. But I think that Boot
Hill is one of the best tracks that we've done. I really
do! I think it's great!
- And he never included it on any particular album, even
though it's been recorded a couple of times, right?
- Just because of the message?
- I guess this one here is from the In Step sessions, right?
- Which, I guess, goes totally contrary to what that record
was all about!
- Yeah, definitely!
- Chris Layton:
- Yeah, at the time, he said, "Guys, it's a great
track!" You know, it was just like one of those things
where we went in and just "did it", it just came out just
right. It had the right feel. And Stevie was really
hedging on it, going, "Well, I don't know..." He'd sing
it, and he would like, really pick his vocal apart, for
one little thing that I wouldn't see him NOT do on
another song. I kept thinking, "Well, what is it?
What's gettin' him about this song?" And then, you know,
it just dawned on me, in the context of the record, it
just was really out of place, lyrically. But then, once
again, it was this song is not gonna make another record.
And before it was maybe the performance isn't like we
wanted it...I think the addition of, at this time, with
Reese in the band, that added that really nice other
dimension to the song, having piano on it. It made a
real nice, good, strong rhythm track. It was clearly in
my mind the best one we had ever cut of it. I'm glad to
see it on this record.
5. "Empty Arms"
- Now, how did Stevie wind up playing drums on the original
version of Empty Arms that was released on Soul To Soul?
- Well, him and I went in early one day. You know, he's a
good drummer, and we were just playin' around and we
started playing it. So, we told Richard Mullins to turn
on the machine, and he didn't want to do it at first. He
thought it was the wrong version. But we ended up
putting it down on tape. It sounded good. Even though
it wasn't anything at all what we'd planned on doing,
- Now, we happen to have the drummer on the version that
appears on the CD (The Sky Is Crying) with us, as well
Double Trouble's Chris Layton. Now, which one...which
version was recorded first? Was it the one with Stevie
on drums, or...
- No, the one that appears on The Sky Is Crying was the
first version. And, um, like Tommy was just saying, that
Richard didn't really want to...he was sitting in the
control room...I mean, I wasn't there, but this is the
story that he related to me. He went, "Yeah, Tommy and
Stevie came in, and Stevie played drums, and he did this
different version!" And he goes, "I don't know...!"
This was a more, like, "uptempo" version. It's kind of
like, "up". And he said, "I think I like that better!"
Stevie really liked that beat, that (vocalizing a drum
beat) "bop-boom, bop-boom, bop-boom". He thought it was
a really funky sound, almost like a backwards shuffle.
So he just wanted to try it, and he and Tommy did, and we
all liked it.
- I got a question...which one do YOU like better, and why?
- (Long pause) I like Stevie's version better! (Lots of
laughter!) I like the song, I like the way it came out
better. But I like this one, too. It's almost a
toss-up, but I think I like the version of Stevie playing
better! (More laughter)
- It's hard to play that slow. It's real slow.
6. "Little Wing"
- This next song on the CD is the most amazing thing, I
mean, his version of Hendrix's Little Wing...would you
agree with that?
- Yeah, well, you know, everything KILLS me on this, and
it's all got a different story, but this one seems
particularly, "tender". This song reminds me of Stevie's
tenderness, and friendliness and everything. How he
could get quiet and understanding, if that makes sense, I
don't know. He starts out, he does the Hendrix song, he
does the intro, you know, pretty much like Hendrix, and
then he goes off... I don't know whether this is jazz,
blues, or...I don't know what this is, you know? I don't
know what kind of music you would call this, 'cause it's
got every one of those things in it. There's some really
great, sensitive, guitar playing on here. It's like he's
- Yeah! And you can hear the amp buzzin'.
- You can hear the amp buzzin', yeah. I thought this is a
great song, and I thought, "Oh no! What am I gonna do
about this? " I could see all the guys with their Sony
Walkmans, you know, listening for all the pin drops
going, "Oh no! This is a defective recording!"
(Laughter) I can see the guy, "Oh no! What am I gonna
do? I have to take it back!" (Laughter) But this is
actually the amp buzzing. When you have your amps turned
up real loud, to get "that tone", and you can back it off
on the guitar...but if you're standing next to your amp,
you have to turn a certain direction so that it doesn't
buzz, because of the Fender pickups. That's why they
invented humbucking pickups, so that it wouldn't buzz
like that. But a Fender doesn't have that, so ... they
probably do now. He probably turned around to change the
tone, or do something like that. You hear it, "Rrrrr,
rrrrrrrr," you know?
- Yeah. Yeah!
- So that's what it is, that effect.
- This next song, Wham, comes on like a house on fire.
Now, tell us a little bit about Lonnie Mack, who wrote
this song, Jimmie.
- I don't know, I guess when I was twelve or thirteen and
first started playing, he was really hot. In the early
sixties, he had "Chicken Pickin'" in the (plan???), he
did "Memphis," he had all these instrumental, these great
fabulous instrumental 45s out. They were in the house.
I had 'em. If I didn't have 'em, Stevie had 'em. Every
time he would come out with a new record, we'd go get it,
and put it on 33 (rpm), to try to figure out what he was
- Slow it down, huh?
- So this is really, uh, really roots...
- It's really unusual. Lonnie played, like, a Flying V,
- Yeah, oh yeah! He played a Flying V with a capo, just wild.
- I guess Stevie liked those guitar players with the Flying
V, 'cause he liked Albert, too.
- Oh yeah!
- Well, this one is just amazing. He played it a lot,
though, didn't he?
- Oh yeah, I mean, every time that I would sit in with him
we'd play this. I've seen him do it fifteen, twenty
times. I've seen him do it at home, when we were kids,
you know, we used to do this. It's a great tune!
8. "May I Have a Talk With You?"
- Howlin' Wolf - now this is a guy that did some great
ones, like "Spoonful," "I Ain't Superstitious," "Little
Red Rooster," "Back Door Man"... Was Stevie always in
your record collection?
- Yeah, when we were kids we had this regular, small little
room, with two little bunk beds, a Sears and Roebuck
record player, or Montgomery Wards or whatever it was,
and a stack of albums...I brought home...and I spent all
my money on records. So I was always bringing home
Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, or B.B. King, you know,
something like that...
- The "real stuff."
- We'd just play the stuff until it wouldn't play any more.
I just played it over and over, and that was all that
happened in that room, really. There wasn't much
homework, you know, that kind of stuff going on in there.
"May I Have a Talk With You" is Howlin' Wolf, and he's
sort of just doing, uh, "OK, we're gonna do the Howlin'
Wolf song." He couldn't think of the name of it. This
is one that was off of an album that I used to have
called, "Folk Festival of the Blues." It was on
Checker...no...Argo! It was on Argo label. It was a
live album. It had Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, Howlin'
Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson, Willie Dixon, and a whole
bunch of guys playing at some club live in Chicago in
1962 or something like that. And this is one of the
songs that Howlin' Wolf did, "May I Have A Talk With
You." But, it's funny...one of the lines on this song is
part of another song that Howlin' Wolf sang on the same
record. So it's just from listening to this record, you
know? See what the deal was, it was the same band, and
each singer would come up on this record, so it was kind
of confusing, as to who did what. And sometimes you'd
get one verse mixed in with another one or something...
- And that's what actually happened here, right?
9. "Close To You"
- "Close To You" - Willie Dixon, the way he writes lyrics!
I mean, it's got that good sense of humor in it, and all
those great lines, and stuff. And I think what Jimmie
talks about this song it's Stevie as a singer. Do you
have some comments about Stevie as a singer?
- I always thought that Stevie was kind of overlooked as a
singer, for his guitar playing. He had such a great
emotion to his singing, but people would not really
comment that much on it, 'cause they were always, like,
"stepping over" his vocal to get to his guitar playing.
I think this song could have been written just for
Stevie. Maybe years ago Willie said, "Stevie Ray Vaughan
- I think I'm gonna write a song for him!" 'cause it's,
like, got that humor like Stevie had. I know that one
thing he really liked about the song was that Muddy would
do that kind of laugh in there, and that was like what
"got him." Stevie could get drawn into a song for like
one thing, one guitar lick, or one little characteristic
in a vocal or something he'd just like, and he would fall
in love with the song. Which was kind of neat, 'cause it
was really kind of like, this like child-like way about
him in that way. Just one little tiny thing that made it
10. "Chitlins Con Carne"
- "Chitlins Con Carne." (Laughter) This doesn't sound
like a particularly appetizing dish! (Laughter)
- I had to go to Memphis and re-do the bass part on this,
'cause, uh...we did that during Soul To Soul, didn't we?
- Yeah, I think so... (Laughter)
- We were kind of "out there" then, you know? And actually
we cut part of the song out. There's probably another
two or three minutes that was in there and we cut it out
because it got real, real sloppy.
- Sloppy and spacey, maybe?
- Yeah, but uh, I don't really remember that much about it.
- I do remember this, that um... this was before Tommy was
in the band. We were probably the most (shot???) loose
early on. It was like everybody lived in... had a sax
player that lived in Fort Worth, and the bass player
lived up there... We'd like have gigs that we'd all
converge, and go play gigs... Stevie might call up and
say, "Oh, there's a gig tomorrow, we got a gig tomorrow!"
Or he might call that day and say there's a gig tonight.
A number of times everyone would say, "Aw, man!" Say
it's like, too late, or even tell him, "You can't call me
at eight o'clock and say we got a gig like in two hours!"
that he came up with... I remember a couple of times
we'd end up playing that song, "Chitlins Con Carne" at a
little place called the Aus-Tex Lounge, on South
Congress. It'd be just Stevie and I. Just guitar and
drums, and there'd be like maybe five people out there,
sittin' in this little, it was like a bar, you know, a
"lounge." Sittin' there playin' that... I remember that
one night, sittin' up there doing that. It's real vivid!
There was like four people and we're like playin', just
me and Stevie... and they're goin', "Gawd, where's the
rest of the band?" (Laughter)
11. "Life By The Drop"
- The last song on the CD shows yet another aspect of
Stevie Ray Vaughan's playing. Tell us a little about
"Life By The Drop," Jimmie.
- Well, uh, I don't really know much about this, except
that Doyle Bramhall wrote it.
- Now Doyle goes back a long way with both you and Stevie,
- Yeah, right. I played with Doyle for years and years and
years. He was the drummer in bands that I've been in,
you know, back twenty years ago. One of my first bands I
was in was with Doyle.
- Swingin' Pendulums, was it?
- Uh, no, after that! A band called The Chessmen. (Laughter)
- Ah, yes, The Chessmen!
- But anyway, Doyle ended up writing a lot of songs with
Stevie. A lot of songs off of In Step... actually off
all these albums, I guess, the last three, I believe.
- Yeah. He co-wrote like, "Wall Of Denial," "Tightrope,"
"Change It," "The House Is Rocking," and on Family Style
he co-wrote "Long Way From Home," and "Telephone Song,"
- Right! So this is a song that Doyle wrote, and this "B.
Logan," that's Doyle's wife, Barbara. Stevie never told
me about this song, when he was doing In Step. So I
don't really know much about it. It's just beautiful,
though. I don't know the story, or anything like that.
He liked it...
- It seems...
- He told them he didn't want to do it with the band. He
wanted to do it by himself, 'cause it was personal. So
everybody can make what they want out of it.
- It meant a lot to Stevie, that song did - the lyrics, you
know, he really liked Doyle's songs anyway. I think it
came out real good, just doing it acoustic.
- It kind of brings, uh...In a way, you shouldn't even look
at the lyrics. It kind of brings Stevie's life like full
circle. In most of the song, between two people, it
could also be the same two people in one man. I think
it's a perfect song to end the record. That song was
considered to be put on In Step, but it was just one of
those things that it seemed too far out of character
musically, more than anything. Lyrically, it was right.
As it turned out I guess it's great that it's on this
record and maybe wasn't on the last one.
12. Jimmie's favorite songs on "The Sky Is Crying"
- Now what would be your personal favorite? Could you pick
- On this whole record?
- That's tough, because it's usually the one that's
playing! I'm really close to all the stuff, and it was
like, uh, all this stuff spoke to me and reminded me of
when we were kids, or a certain tour we were on, or a
certain thing that was happening, you know? So I get
pictures when I hear it, you know?
- I think everybody does, to tell you the truth. Because,
in one way or another, you know, whatever your memories
are, you know, some of these really hit on them.
- It's funny that these songs were the one that were really
left behind because they, to me, this record speaks to
you. I mean, in a lot of ways, so I don't know.
Everybody has to make their own... I don't want to sound
too far out or anything,,, it's really nice.
13. Any more Stevie Ray Vaughan material?
- I guess the question is, is there more you think we'll
hear from Stevie Ray?
- Yeah, there'll be more. There's not like a lot of studio
stuff of songs that have never been released. There's
alternate takes, and there's, you know, like different
versions. But this is pretty much the stuff that we
haven't heard. You know what I mean?
- Yeah. Yeah, so there might be...
- I'm gonna go, in sometime coming up , and work with the
record company on the Stevie Ray Vaughan Box, the
"ultimate" Stevie Ray Box. And there will be a lot of
some goodies in there! But, there is live stuff ...
- Yeah, that's what I'd imagine... I've heard tapes...
- But there's not ... And there's some good, some really
neat stuff, too. But this was it. I mean, to me, this
was the "good stuff."
14. Stevie Ray Vaughan the perfectionist
- Was he a perfectionist? I mean, you would cut something
that you guys would think was pretty "right there," you
know, and then he'd pick something that you say well,
boy, can most people hear that even?
- Yeah, yeah he was definitely like that.
- Yeah, he was a perfectionist. But in playing the music,
it wasn't so much like it was a "technical" perfection
thing. If it had the right feeling that he was looking
for, or that we were looking for, then we were "there."
Even if there was some mistakes or something, that
didn't matter. Which was kind of a beautiful thing
because then the real essence of the music was kind of
coming out, not just to get this "technical" portrayal of
something. But on the other hand, when it came to guitar
sounds and whatnot, he was an absolute fanatic. He would
site there for eight hours working on one particular
tone. Or he might be there longer than that...
- Two days, or three days sometimes...
- Yeah, he could be well, like, saying this tube, the
second tube, the second power tube I think is bad. Or,
he's got all these amps chained together, and he's like,
"This second cord's wrong, get me this different cord,
gimme that cord." Or, "I need a different guitar." He
would, like, sit there for hours and hours and hours,
technically, trying to get his sound...
- Or trying to get the right buzz on the amp... (Laughter)
- Yeah, whatever it was, there wasn't anything real
spontaneous there! I mean, it was like a real exact
science in his mind. He had this method to the madness
of getting just the right sound. But the music was: when
it feels right, all things aside, we've got what we need.
15. How Stevie progressed as a guitarist
- First time we played together, he was about fifteen or
sixteen. We played together in a band called Blackbird.
Even then, and through Double Trouble it's like I never
got "used to" playing with him. What I mean is, I never
took it for granted. It's like he'd do stuff every night
that would just blow me away! I'd stand over there and
just couldn't believe it!
- He was always searching. He wasn't trying to get
"better" technically, as a guitar player...I think he was
always trying to distill what his guitar playing meant in
the context of just playing good music. He was always
searching for a way to make better music, more essential
music. I know that he would say every so often that he
would get kind of frustrated with...sometimes he'd hear a
tape and say, "God bless...I'm playing all these notes,
sounds like some machine gun or something!" And he
didn't like it, 'cause he though at that point in time he
was kind of like passing off, you know, doing this cheap
music, when he would rather be playing something more
essential. 'Cause, he could play real fast. When he
wanted to get really ridiculous about it he could play as
fast as anybody, you know, just to show me. "Hey, check
this out!" And he'd play this really incredible stuff,
and he'd say, "It doesn't sound like anything to me!"
16. First time they heard Stevie Ray Vaughan
- I heard Stevie when he was about fourteen years old. I'd
just broken up with Johnny Winter, I'd been playing with
Johnny Winter. I flew to Dallas. I was walking down the
street. I was going to this club called The Fog. And, I
heard this guitar player from outside, and I was going,
"Who's that!?" It was incredible! And I went inside, and
there was this little kid standing there looking up at
all the big guys around him. You know, it was like I was
the only one that would even talk to him back then. He
was like a little punk to everybody else. I knew he was
special. It's like it came right from his heart.
There's no foolin' around there!
- I first met him in...or actually, I first saw him in
1975. My roommate at the time was playing in a band with
him and he said, "Yeah, why don't you come out and see
us! The band's real good, and I think you'd really enjoy
it." So I did. I went to a place called Soap Creek
Saloon, in Austin, and I walked in and I couldn't believe
it! This guy was like...I thought this guy was like a
human diamond, or something. He had this "power." It's
like when he played, it was almost like he "was" the
music. I felt that way about him until the very end. It
was like, the night that he died, we did the show up in
Wisconsin, he played guitar that night and it was like
the band never sounded better. Later on, when he jammed
with Eric Clapton, the first note that he played, it was
like it covered the entire band and the whole audience.
It was like this thing, like this energy that he had,
that I had never really felt from anybody else. And I'm
talking about the standpoint of playing with him.
17. Beginnings of Double Trouble
- It was Triple Threat Revue was together, and at that time
the band was just transforming. I think he had some
personnel problems. I approached him and said, "Hey man,
we can do some great things together." I could see that
obviously that the band I didn't think was really gonna
go anywhere. There was a serious problem, and I thought
that I could help cure that.
- I was playing...I was living in Houston, and playing
around there. I went in Rockefellers on night, and they
were playing. It was like a revelation, that's where I
want to be, right there, that's where I belong. And I
just went up and told Stevie that, you know, "I want to
play with you." And I kept bugging him, you know? I
guess about a month later, he finally gave me a call.
But it's strange - I knew exactly what I wanted to do
there. And I really felt like that's where I belonged.
18. Montreaux Jazz Festival
- It was definitely the most "eventful" thing that we had
ever done, you know, far away. I'd never travelled
abroad, myself. It's like all of the sudden I'm going to
Switzerland, oh, great! This ought to be a lot of fun!
After our show we went downstairs into the basement, into
the musicians' lounge, which is where everybody went
after they played, and drank or whatever. So, uh...
- That's where we met Jackson Browne.
- Yeah. I thought a lot of this was too good to be true.
And you know, let me correct something. It was actually
the next night that we played there. It wasn't the night
after we played. The next night we were in Montreaux
with nothing to do. We could go to the festival. The
manager said, "Well look, I can book y'all in the
musicians' lounge, you know, downstairs. Y'all want to
go down there an play? There's no money in it but I
thought maybe you might like to play." Yeah, sure! You
know, we were jazzed! So that's when we did that, and it
was after Jackson's show that night he came down with the
whole band and we all got up and jammed until after
daybreak. That might have been the longest I ever played
in one sitting.
- Yeah! There was like one break the whole night. It went
- Yeah, we stopped for like twenty minutes, and then got
back up and just played and played.
19. David Bowie tour
- I think what it really boiled down to is that our record
was in the can -- Texas Flood -- and Stevie played on the
Bowie record, and then there was the offer for the world
tour. I guess it was our understanding that this band
would open... Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble
would open for Bowie on this tour, and that Stevie would
then play guitar with him in his show. I guess some
wires got crossed, and that never really happened, or
wasn't going to happen. I think it was just at a point
in time Stevie had to make a decision whether or not he
was gonna pursue his own career from the very start, with
this record as the lead-off, or abandon that path and go
play guitar with someone for the notoriety or money or
whatever. And, this won out. It was something he had
wanted to do all his life. It was like, there we were!
You know, the band was there, the record was there, and
it was like he just followed his heart, "This is what
I've got to do. This is what I've been working for, so
I'm gonna go do it!"
- Yes. That's one thing I think Stevie really showed his
character. Everybody had talked him into going ahead and
doing the David Bowie tour. But when it came down to the
last minute, he couldn't go against what he believed in.
- He really struggled with it. People would say, just
forget about the band for a year, eighteen months,
however long the tour lasts. You can always go back and
pick them up later. This will do great things for your
career. You'll be a big star! Everybody in the world
will know who you are! And then you could just pick
right back up. In his heart, I think his heart just said
no, this is what I want to do, and I'll do it now.
- Yeah, it turned out to be the right decision, too, 'cause
Texas Flood did real good.
- I think for a time he was known as the "guitar player
that DIDN'T play with David Bowie," as opposed to the one
20. The Fire and Fury tour with Jeff Beck
- It was fun! We had a hard time getting it off the
ground, trying to figure out how we're gonna bill it, and
who's gonna play first, who's gonna play last, you
know... The managers were going, " Who's really more
important?" "Well, he's new and fresh." "He's old, and
he's established; he's a legend." "Well, he's a legend,
too!" "But he's not more of a legend than my guy!" But
it worked out real good. It ended up being a great
tour! A lot of good music was played on that tour.
- Yeah, everybody got along real good.
21. Stevie Ray's death
Stevie Ray Vaughan
- That's one of the things that really comforts me about
it, you know? It's when Stevie went, he was clean and
sober. He had his life put together. He was happy. He
had grown spiritually a long way. It's real comforting
to know that he went like that. And I love him, and I'll
always miss him!
22. Stevie learned from his brother Jimmie
- He definitely got me started, and then somewhere along
the line, showed me that I was supposed to learn,
myself! (Laughs) I'm glad he did! He's probably my
biggest influence, for many reasons. Mainly because when
he first started, I watched him, I watched him a LOT. It
was so easy for him to learn and pick up what he picked
up, that it just didn't seem that it could be hard.
23. On Hendrix
- I just thought he was the greatest thang I'd ever seen!
I never got to see him live, but, there's a whole lot
about his life, you know... I was influenced by his
music, his style, his attitude, what he was looking for,
or at least my interpretation of what he was looking for,
which was growing from the inside out. Another thing
that really struck me hard was a lot of the same
influences that I had musically were his influences as
well. That's probably what made it a little easier for
me to pick up some of the thangs that he plays. Some of
the distance that people put between playing music and
playing Hendrix's music is kind of strange to me. Why
isn't it just as accessible as Chuck Berry, or B.B.
King, or Albert King, or Bo Diddley. Granted - it's hard
to play! (Laughs) And, there's a lot to it. There's a
lot to understanding what he's doing. I don't even begin
to know how he did some of the things he did. But that
doesn't mean I shouldn't try!
24. "The Blues"
- Let us hope that the music is taken seriously, you know?
That doesn't mean it can't be fun, but it doesn't mean it
can just be skimmed over and called "the blues" because
it's got three chords, and it's in so-and-so key, and
it's the speed, you know? (Laughs) There's too many
thangs going on in life that are hard to deal with, or
hard to look at. That's what the blues is about. It's
about, as far as I can tell, it's a way to tell somebody
what's going on, and by doing that, either whoever is
listening to it can relate to what you're saying, because
it's the same thang that's happening to them, and as a
result they feel better. Or it's worse than what they're
going through, so they go, "Whew!" and feel better. Or
it's not quite as bad, and then go, "Well, this is WORSE,
but at least somebody understands!" and feel better. And
then there's the happy side of life, you know, when that
part's over! And that's blues, too, you know, because
you grew from it!
[Back to Bob's SRV page]