Legends TV Broadcast
Originally Aired: 1998
Transcription by Debbie FSimm8888@aol.com
- Stevie Ray Vaughan played guitar like a man on fire. A white kid
from Dallas, he felt a lifelong kinship with the blues.
[Leave My Little Girl Alone]
After years of struggle and obscurity, he emerged as one of the great guitar
players of all time...
[Leave My Little Girl Alone]
only to die tragically at
the age of 35. Stevie Ray Vaughan is a legend; this is his story.
Stephen Ray Vaughan was born in Dallas, Texas on October 3, 1954, three years
after his brother, Jimmie. He began his life on the move. Stevie's father
was an asbestos worker whose job carried the family across Texas and beyond.
Whenever he'd get a job, the Vaughans would pull up roots and move to another
city, sometimes for days, sometimes months. As a child, Stevie lived in more
than 30 different towns.
- Well, it, it wasn't really a..a comfortable "Leave-It-To-Beaver" kind
of a deal, you know?...moving all the time and never really getting to know
people, on the highway all the time and going to school for two weeks here
and three weeks here, and it was the absolute perfect training for us to do
what we did.
- The Vaughans finally moved into a small frame house in Dallas, but
life remained unsettled. Jim, Sr. was a hard-working man, but he had a large
temper and a short fuse, especially when he had been drinking. Where Jimmie
took after his dad, tough, cocky, and confident, Stevie was a sweet but shy
and insecure kid who didn't like being left alone.
[San Antonio Rose]
relax, Big Jim and Martha loved to dance to Western Swing. It was the boys'
first exposure to music. When Jimmie was 12, a family friend gave him his
first guitar. Soon after, Stevie got one of his own...a plastic toy, with
only three strings.
- He got one of those little guitars, those little guitars with the
cowboys on them.
- And then uh, and then when he started really trying to play, and I
would put it down and leave and say "Look, don't touch my guitar or I'm
gonna, you know, I'm gonna really get mad, and I would leave, and he would
play the guitar just as soon as I left."
- With no interest in music lessons, the boys taught themselves to
play by listening to records.
. It was the late 60s, the era of
British Rock guitar heroes like Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page,
Sky Is Crying]
but the Vaughan Brothers were drawn to another sound, a raw,
emotional music with deep roots in southern culture....the blues. The boys
taught themselves the guitar techniques of blues wizards like Albert King,
B.B. King, Otis Rush, and Buddy Guy.
- I always was turned on by the, by the real stuff and like when you
hear them playing a solo and they get really nasty and low down and it's, and
it goes crazy and it's like tension and, you know, that's what we liked, and
that's the way our home life was...was a lot of tension. We didn't ever know
what our old man was gonna do, you know, he would go off like a, like a
- By age 15, Jimmie was lead guitarist in The Chessmen, a cover band
that played gigs all over Texas. With his good looks and hot licks, he soon
became a local teen idol. Back home, Stevie kept on practicing. He'd spend
hours holed up in his room, sounding out solos, note by note.
One of the first to take notice was Jimmie's partner in The Chessmen, singer,
- Well, I'm sitting on the couch and all of a sudden I hear this guitar
playing, and I knew it wasn't Jimmie, because he had just walked past me, so
I walked towards the back room and there was the bedroom door, and it was
just cracked just a little bit, and I kind of peeked in, and there was this
skinny, 12-year-old kid sitting on the floor, playing this Jeff Beck song,
- Stevie was playing in rock 'n roll bands by age 12. Even on his
first recording for a garage band called A Cast of Thousands, his style stood
By the time he entered high school, Stevie had graduated to paying gigs,
first with Jimmie's new band, Texas Storm, and then with his own group,
Blackbird. Stevie would play all-night sets at seedy Dallas bars like The
Funky Monkey, then stumble home for a few hours sleep.
- Funky Monkey was a funky place. That was uh 10 at night til 6 in the
morning, with one 20-minute break was the longest one; the rest were 10
- And then get up and go to high school, you know?
[Tin Pan Alley]
After wild nights on the town, high school felt
like a bad hangover. Stevie fell asleep in class so often, he managed to
flunk music theory. Jimmie's grades were just as bad. Alarmed by their
sons' behavior, Big Jim and Martha tried to put the brakes on Jimmie and
Stevie's music careers, but it was too late for that. In 1967, after one
fight too many, Jimmie moved out of the house, leaving Stevie to fend for
- You know the parents got a little mad, because I moved out, and they
sort of took it all out on him, like, like "you can't go nowhere, and you
cannot play the guitar, and you can't do nothing except go to school."
- Stevie was failing at school and miserable at home. He took a job
washing dishes at the local Dairy Mart.
- Part of my job was to clean out the trash bins. I was standing on
this barrel to clean out the trash bin, and the top caved in; I fell into
grease up to here, and right then I decided "I'm not gonna do this anymore.
I'm gonna play guitar."
- In early 1971, Jimmie and Doyle grew fed up with the fading blues
scene in Dallas and decided to try their luck in Austin. Stevie was soon to
follow. During Christmas break, he quit high school and hit the road. He
was 17 years old.
Austin was as wild and free as Dallas was straight. On the east side of
town, aspiring bluesmen could soak up the real thing. Musicians in Austin
were royalty in tatters, and Stevie fit right in. When he first came to
town, he even slept on a barroom pool table.
- Austin was a place you could come and play your music and dress the
way you wanted to. It was, it was pretty much a...a....a little San
- At blues clubs like the Soap Creek Saloon, The Vulcan Gas Company,
and later, Antone's, Stevie could talk and trade licks with the masters he
grew up adoring.
- I remember the time when he sat in with Albert King. You see, Albert
King didn't like any other guitar players. He didn't care if you were B.B.
King, you know what I mean? He was Albert King, and that was it. Nobody
else would even do it, and he got up there, he must have been 17, and uh a
Albert King would play a line, and then Stevie would play the same line that
Albert King played, and the only thing funny about it was Albert King made it
up, but still, Albert King couldn't believe that this kid could do that,
because he had never heard anybody do it.
- Playing guitar all day and night in Austin was a dream come true
for Stevie, but building a career there turned out to be a lot tougher. In
1972 he joined a promising rock band called Krackerjack, but quit when their
leader decided they should wear makeup on stage.
next year he was recruited into Marc Benno and the Nightcrawlers, a blues
band that included singer, Doyle Bramhall. The Nightcrawlers drove to L.A.
to cut an album, but when Benno's record label rejected the tapes, Stevie was
sent crawling back to Texas.
Next, Stevie hooked up with another popular Austin group called the Cobras, a
two-guitar band with Stevie taking the back seat. Two years later, with only
one single to show for their efforts, Stevie grew frustrated and quit. After
almost five years in Austin, he had reached yet another dead end, but his
real journey was only just beginning.
- Stevie Vaughan's life in Austin was a study in squalor. He moved
from place to place like a vagabond, toting his guitar and portable record
- There was a house on the, on the east side of Austin, a big two-story
house that, that several of us lived in, and there was a lot of of drinking.
There was cocaine. We had this thought that in order to play the blues, you
also had to live the blues, and we thought in order to live the blues, you
have to really be ....down.
[Wait On Time]
- By 1975, Jimmie Vaughan's new group, The Fabulous Thunderbirds,
were the talk of Austin. They became the house band at Antone's, the top
blues club in town. Stevie was still in the shadow of his brother.
- I think he probably had to try harder than me, because he had to beat
me, and I was already, you know, going around, established, and doing things,
and so I think it may have been hard for him, because everywhere he went, I'd
already been there, and it came out in his playing.
- In 1977 Stevie decided it was time to strike out on his own. He
put together a band called Triple Threat, sharing the spotlight with veteran
bluesman, W.C. Clark, and a wild young singer named Lou Ann Barton. With
Triple Threat, Stevie channeled the blues with an energy and abandon that
[?The Sky Is Crying]
set audiences reeling. Some nights he played until the
skin on his fingers shredded and stick the calluses back on with super glue
and play some more.
Stevie's life off stage was also taking shape. In 1979, he fell for a
tough-minded Lebanese beauty named Lenny Bailey. That December, between sets
at the Rome Inn, Stevie and Lenny got married.
- The wedding was pretty spontaneous. It wasn't like it had been
planned for weeks in advance; it was like "Hey let's get married. Here, I
got this wire, we'll, I'll make some rings, and uh let's do it."
- But the good times didn't last long. First, W.C. Clark left, and
Stevie renamed the band "Double Trouble." Then in the middle of the 1979
tour, Lou Ann Barton quit too.
- Part of the band wanted to go one direction, and part of the band
wanted to go another direction, and ultimately what ended up happening was
whoever really wanted to go with Stevie was who remained in the band.
[?Shake For Me]
- Double Trouble's drummer, Chris Layton, decided to stick it out
with Stevie. In 1980, Tommy Shannon, a bass player who had played with
Stevie back in the days of Krackerjack saw the band one night and decided he
- When I walked in the door and I heard him playing it was like a
revelation. It was like "That's where I want to be. That's where I belong,
- The reborn Double Trouble was a stripped down, three-man unit with
Stevie out front, on his own for the first time ever. When he began using
his full name on stage, Stevie Ray Vaughan finally emerged from the shadows.
In 1982, Double Trouble played the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, the
first unsigned band to perform there.
Double Trouble's raucous sound shocked the staid, European crowd. For a
while, the show seemed headed for disaster.
- And we get out there and we start playing, and then a few people start
booing and stuff, and that sounds like hundreds. You know, so we're like,
you know, "nobody likes us!"
- But Stevie Ray's performance was appreciated by one fan in
attendance, pop star, David Bowie.
- David Bowie:
- I saw him uh working in a, a jazz concert in Europe, and he was
like second on the bill or something, and he just, this little kid from
Austin, Texas came out and just played some of the most devastating city
rhythm and blues, I've, I've heard in years. It was great.
- Bowie asked Stevie to play guitar on his new album, "Let's Dance."
- He's great, you know. He walks in the studio, and before they get the
tape on, he's going. He knows exactly what he wants to do, and he's, he's
right on it.
- Stevie Ray's swaggering guitar helped make "Let's Dance" the
best-selling album of Bowie's career. Now Bowie wanted to hire Stevie to
join his touring band, but Stevie declined. By the time this video was
released, Stevie was out of the picture. Even without a record deal of his
own, Stevie decided to go for broke with Double Trouble.
In December of 1982, they went to LA to record an album's worth of music.
They sent the results to legendary talent scout, John Hammond, the man who
discovered Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. Hammond got the band signed to
Epic records and personally supervised the final mixes of their debut album,
- We just went in and did the record, uh, we did it in two days, you
know? And uh...
- Two days?
- Well, we did all the tracks in two days, did eight songs one day and
two the other, uh, did the vocals in two days, mixed it in two days, mastered
it in two days.
- "Texas Flood" was released to glowing reviews and sold over half a
million copies. After years of scuffling, Stevie Ray Vaughan was an
- I guess it was like this power plant that was standing over there. It
wasn't volume, or it wasn't blues per se, it was just this energy, it was
like he was electrified.
- He always seemed like a vehicle. It was like some higher energy went
through him, like that. It was like every time he picked up his guitar and
put it on and started playing, uh he would, it was almost like he was in a
- It was the heydey of Boy George and A Flock of Seagulls, and here
was Stevie Ray Vaughan revitalizing the blues, playing music that came
straight from his soul.
- It's got more to do with uh peoples' souls and people, people growing
- It's interesting to hear a musician say that, because so many
times musicians are just after the brass ring at the end of it, and it's good
to see when somebody has got a lot of sincerity.
- Well, it's got, it's got to be sincere or what are we doing if we're
not going to be sincere...we're messing around, and that's not what this is
- There is just a feeling. It's, it's something that you can't go and
read out of a book. It's something that you can't just go, and take a bite
of it...eat and have it. It's something that's there...something that you
grew up with. I don't know if it's the dirt, it's the water, the air... but
hope to God it's all of 'em.
[Ain't Gone N Give Up On Love]
- Even as his reputation skyrocketed, Stevie continued to pay tribute
to the bluesmen who had inspired him.
- It wasn't John Wayne, you know. It was Albert King. It was B.B.
King. He worshipped them, and wanted to be with them, and wanted to be one
- You know there seems to be just a little bit of Albert King in
your music. Am I right?
- Yeah. He's my godfather.
- When you say he's your godfather, tell me the story of how he
became your godfather.
- Well, we were in Freedom Village, Mississippi...this is when he, this
is when he made it known, and he breezed right on stage and says "There ain't
but one white boy in the world whose got a black daddy, and I'm him."
- I mean he used to say I'm a, I'm a black man caught in a white guy's
body." He'd say that, and I'd go "You're right. I think you're right."
- Black or white, Stevie Ray was bringing the blues to a whole new
generation of listeners. It was a noble calling, but he would pay a terrible
[Couldn't Stand The Weather]
- By 1984, Double Trouble had been nominated for four Grammys, and
their second album, "Couldn't Stand The Weather" had sold over a million
With this album, Stevie began exploring new ground.
been playing Jimi Hendrix songs since he was a teenager. Now he showed the
confidence to put his own stamp on Hendrix's "Voodoo Chile."
- Stevie had a certain kindred spirit with him, even though they had
never really met. It was like Stevie knew instinctively what Hendrix was
doing, and almost how he felt, and how he thought.
- John Hammond:
- I want to introduce to you one of the great guitar players of
all time, Stevie Ray Vaughan.
- In October 1984, Stevie Ray and Double Trouble performed at
Carnegie Hall. To celebrate, Stevie brought along an all-star supporting
Dr. John on piano and his brother, Jimmie, on guitar. They wore
custom-tailored velvet suits. His parents flew in from Texas to share in
[Pride and Joy]
- By the mid-80s, Stevie Ray Vaughan was at the peak of his powers.
He toured the world, astonishing crowds with music that seemed to flow
effortlessly through his fingers.
- There was also magazines, and newspapers want to do interviews and
you know, you're on TV and you start getting offers to go open for people,
and you know you start making more money
- More women.
- Yeah, things get more exciting and you like go "Wow, this is cool."
- But with fame and fortune, came excess. Stevie Ray's performance
contract required a fifth of Scotch in his dressing room each night. His
cocaine habit rose to four grams a day. To cure hangovers, he liked to
dissolve some of the coke into a glass of whiskey for a morning pick-me-up.
For their third album, Double Trouble added a fourth member to the band, ace
keyboard player, Reese Wynans. For the first time, in the studio, Stevie had
the luxury of time and money; what he lacked was inspiration.
- We'd spend hours playing ping pong, you know. While we're paying for
the studio time, you know, we'd be in there playing ping pong.
- Where previous albums had been recorded in days, this one took
- There were mounds of cocaine laying on top of the
organ...mounds...huge. It was very scary to watch. Where I was doing a lot,
Stevie was doing five times, ten times more than I was doing.
- When it was released, "Soul To Soul" lacked the fire and bite of
the first two albums.
On stage, Stevie was looking worn out.
[The Star Spangled Banner]
- In April of 1985, Stevie Ray was invited to play 'The Star Spangled
Banner" at opening day in the Houston Astrodome.
- The crowd booed. One reporter later commented, "I was sure he'd be
dead by the time he hit 30."
Stevie's marriage to Lenny was also on the verge of collapse. His growing
fame had pushed her to the sidelines, and she reacted bitterly.
- Totally insane, to be honest. There was a lot of fighting, I mean
physical fighting, and uh, and like I said earlier, it was like I was
- Returning to Austin, after a long stretch on the road, Stevie found
their house padlocked and Lenny gone. He would say only half in jest, that
his first wife was his cherished guitar.
- Well, I'm still married to my first wife, and that's my, that's my
first guitar. She's a '59 Stratocaster, and she, I've always called her my
first wife. She don't talk back to me...she talks for me. You know? She
don't scream at me....she screams for me.
[Commit A Crime]
- After seven years together, their marriage was all but over.
By mid-1986, Double Trouble was touring the world non-stop
from Live Alive is heard]
and running out of fuel.
- All that excessiveness brings about excess everywhere else, all of our
personal lives. You know, I mean I wouldn't want to wish it on anybody. You
know, we're out there, we're goin' like 100 miles an hour, but we're kind of
draggin' ourselves along and everybody else with us.
- While we're out there doing that, you know, then you've got, you've
got people that are behind you going "yeah, keep on going man, keep going,
you know, keep working, you know, you've still got some more gigs, got
another TV show, you need to make another record," and you're like "hey can I
do this?" I'm about to go, I am going insane, I am insane, I'm about to keel
over." It was nuts. It was really nuts.
- On the road, Jimmie and The Fabulous Thunderbirds would sometimes
share the bill with Double Trouble, but Jimmie was having problems of his
- Around that time, everything was crazy, you know? The drinking, and
the drugs, you know it was like with Stevie, and it was like with me too, if
one was good, then 15 was a whole lot better, and that's just the way it
went, you know, with everything.
- There came a time that, you know, it all had to come to an end. It
was like "who's going to find the stopping point here, or how is that going
On August 27, 1986, Stevie and Jimmie's father, Big Jim Vaughan, died after a
long illness. Both sons rushed home to comfort their mother, but there was
little time to mourn. As soon as the funeral was over, a jet rushed Stevie
back on the road. One month later, on tour in Europe, Stevie Ray hit the
- We were out on the street walking around, and he started throwing up
on the street, and he was throwing up blood, and he said "________ I need a
drink," and I said "No you don't need a drink," and he said "God, I know I
don't, but I need one," and you know and then he started throwing up some
- Stevie managed to struggle through two more shows, but everyone
knew this was the end. The tour was canceled, and Stevie was admitted to a
rehab hospital in London. The cocaine he had been dissolving into his
whiskey each day was ripping his stomach apart. The doctor told him he was a
month away from dying.
- Before I sobered up, I was to the point where I thought I stay high
as I could get until I died, and that would be pretty soon, and that was
- That's where I was at.
- Cause I didn't know how to....I couldn't....I knew that I couldn't
keep going, and I knew that I couldn't stop.
- And that's a hell of a place to be.
- Stevie spent two months in treatment programs and emerged with a
new plan for his life. He had taken his music and his vices to the edge.
Now he vowed to do the same for sobriety. This time, Stevie Ray had help,
starting with the new love in his life. He had met Janna Lapidus in New
Zealand. When he collapsed in Europe, she had flown to London to be by his
side. With Janna's support, Stevie Ray began turning his life around.
Filing for a divorce from Lenny, he moved from Austin, back to Dallas. He'd
spent his whole life on the road. Now it was leading him home.
- He hadn't had much contact with his family for a number of years, and
he was close to his mother; he wanted to be next to her; he wanted to get to
know her again. Now that he was done with the drugs and alcohol and was
learning a new way of living, all that was easier. It was easier to grab a
hold of , to understand and be able to do something with, and that made him
- Unknown person with video camera:
- Hey kids.
- Hey guy.
- Everything about living is a lot better. You know? Even on my worse
day now, it's a lot better than it was on my best day then.
- Tommy Shannon had also entered a rehab clinic and gone sober.
By early 1987, Double Trouble was back on the road with new-found energy and
purpose. Stevie Ray was high on life and ready to cut loose.
- Are ya'll having fun tonight?! Whewweee! This a "thang" called
- Stevie had turned his life right side up, and he wanted to help
others do the same. At home and on the road he would attend meetings with
recovering addicts, sharing the lessons of his ordeal.
- If someone would come up and say "I'm struggling with alcohol or
drugs, and how did you do it?" and he'd just light up, you know,
it was like just totally light up, and then just get all excited
and, and invite that person "Well come on, come on in," you know, and you
know, it was wonderful to watch.
- I'd like to talk to you all for a second if I can, because you know
basically I got to start off thanking God that I'm alive and well enough to
be with you today, and that all is as well as it is. You see, less than two
years ago I found myself in a real bad situation; I found myself down on the
ground, and I couldn't get up, and I mean I was trying, and I couldn't. All
I'm telling you about is...you see I thought I could stay at the party
forever. It don't work that way, 'cause that will kill you. That
stuff will kill you. What I'm asking you to do is just stay away from them
drugs and things, 'cause what they do is they eat you inside out, you know.
They make you forget about those people that you really love, and they make
you run from love, 'cause you can't stand how good it looks. I'm asking you
to take care of yourselves, so you can be there for your brothers and sisters
when they need you. Are you with me
- Stevie Ray Vaughan had made it through hell and back. Now he was
ready to push his music to new and greater heights.
By 1988, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble were ready to return to the
recording studio. For the first time they were trying to make a record clean
- We were wondering "Can we be creative without the cocaine and
alcohol." You know? Because I...you know, it seemed like I had never played
without it in my life. I mean it took several days just to sit down and do
our first song, but as it progressed, we started gaining more confidence.
- I did have a lot of fun in making this record, and I had a lot of fun
dealing with the stuff that I usually just didn't know that went on.
- What kind of stuff?
- Well, like I said earlier, you can see a little better with your eyes
open, and I could also hear better.
- But it wasn't just about music this time. Stevie had a tale to
tell. To help him tell it, he turned to his old friend, Doyle Bramhall, who
had gone through his own battle with addiction. Together they wrote new
songs about walking the tightrope to recovery.
- We would get together at his house, and we would just talk about uh
whatever was going on with us at the time. We came very close to dying, and
we were so happy to not be dead, and looking around and seeing that, that
life is okay...life is, life's pretty good...uh, that was the inspiration for
wanting to write these songs.
- Released in the summer of 1989, "In Step" became Double Trouble's
best-selling record to date, and went on to win a Grammy.
When Stevie had first gotten sober, his brother, Jimmie, didn't think it
- He was like the first guy I knew that went through rehab, and I
thought "Well, he'll just get to feeling better and get everybody off his
back, and then he'll be back," you know, and uh...boy was I surprised.
I didn't know everything was going to change. I didn't know that
he was going to go sober, you know, and actually quit drinking and try to
clean his life up. That never occurred to me, and I was older.
- Instead, Stevie's journey prompted Jimmie to do the same. In 1989,
Stevie Ray and Jimmie decided to make a record together.
was "Family Style," the first album by the Vaughan Brothers, and the
happiest-sounding album of their careers.
- It was really a lot of fun, and it really seemed natural. And it was
fun like, it was like we had gotten back together, and it was almost like we
were at home. I had never seen him happier, and I'd never seen him play
better. I mean it was almost like magic the way he played.
- We've probably gotten closer making this record than we have been
since we were little kids at home, and uh...I needed it....you know? I can
honestly say I needed it.
- Stevie Ray Vaughan was no longer just a son of the Blues. He had
taken his place on stage as one of the greats.
- Now we're gonna bring up Mr. B.B. King.
- When you listen to him play, you hear his personality, and he was
really good at expressing himself, and so, even if you don't know what you're
listening to, or you don't know what you're hearing, or even if you don't get
it, you get it on some level.
[Leave My Little Girl Alone]
- Buddy Guy:
- He played the blues like I think it should be played, with your
whole soul and body; don't give 99-1/2%, you got to give 120.
- Eric Clapton:
- And he never ever seemed to be lost. It just flowed out. He
seemed to be an open channel, and it just flowed through him. He never, he
never ever seemed to kind of dry up.
- Robert Cray:
- For a long time coming, there's going to be a lot of frustrated
guitar players trying to pick up on Stevie's stuff.
- For Stevie Ray, the blues had been an oasis of peace in a life
filled with turmoil. Now, as he toured the country with Double Trouble in
the summer of 1990, Stevie had finally found that peace within himself.
- What would be the best thing that could happen to you right now,
in your career?
- To keep having fun with it.
- Keep on going.
- Stevie Ray Vaughan was 35 years old. His life was almost over.
[Sweet Home Chicago]
On August 26, 1990, Stevie Ray Vaughan boarded a helicopter outside Chicago
to be flown to Wisconsin's Alpine Valley. The open air arena was hosting a
show featuring Eric Clapton, Double Trouble, Robert Cray, Buddy Guy, and
Jimmie Vaughan. For the 60,000 fans who attended, it was a blues lover's
dream come true.
- We went there. We did those two shows. It was great. All the bands
sounded great. Lots of people. You know life couldn't be any better than
- We were really on that night. Really on.
- At the end of the show, as fog settled over the crowd, the all-star
lineup of guitar players returned onstage for this rousing final jam on
"Sweet Home Chicago."
- When Stevie started playing, I remember
"God!" It was like
this...the first note he played was like this big bent note, it was like, it
went like "maaaaaow!" like that, and like, it was like....sounded like
bigger than the whole place.
- It was Stevie's night, and I think anybody will tell you that. He
was to...he was just amazing. He just played...he was like at the top of
his...he was happy...he was really happy all day, and just, you know, just
- After the show, Stevie said goodbye to his brother and the band.
Then he grabbed an empty seat on one of the four helicopters waiting to fly
the performers back to Chicago.
[Tin Pan Alley]
- John Norris (MTV News):
- Guitar great, Stevie Ray Vaughan, was killed early
this morning, when a helicopter flying him out of Alpine Valley Music Theatre
in East Troy, Wisconsin crashed into a fog-shrouded hill. Vaughan, who would
have turned 36
played a concert at Alpine Valley....
- I looked out, and the sun was coming up, and I....I thought
"This....there's no way this is true. This is, this, this couldn't happen,"
and I ran from the room. I went...I got... called security and had them meet
me at his room, Stevie's room, and I said "You've got to let me into this
room, and they let me in, and when they opened the door, you know I looked
in, and there was the bed, you know, it was turned down, with little candy on
the pillow, and I was just like.......................................; I
guess it's just something, I'll never get over that. I'll get better about
it, but I'll never get over it.
- It's strange you know? We'd done so much together. I honestly...you
know, for a while, I felt like "Wait a minute, I was supposed to have been on
there too. I was supposed to have been on there too. What happened?" You
"Wasn't I supposed to go to?" You know, I, it's, I had such confusing,
confusing feelings, you know, that it was....there, I mean there's really no
way I can put it into words, it was just like, totally ripped my life apart.
- Not in a million years could you have ever thought any of this would
be possible. I thought we were .....going to go on like we had always been
going. You know?
- Stevie Ray Vaughan died on the same day his father had...four
Three days later, back in Dallas, he was laid to rest in a grave beside his
father. Thousands who knew him and who were touched by his music gathered to
- I've met people since he died that say "I saw him, and I don't even
like blues music, and I saw." This one man said this, he said "I don't, I
don't, I don't even really like blues music but, and I don't really care for
guitar playing and all that stuff," he goes "but I saw him on TV once and,"
he goes, he goes "when he died," he goes "I cried," and he goes "I'm not even
- Stevie Ray didn't believe that death was the end. Death was just
when people change, he said. You can't physically see them or talk to them,
but they are there. For Stevie Ray Vaughan, blues was the essence of life
itself, a musical tapestry of joys and sorrows, tragedy and triumph. For 35
years he gave that music everything he had.
[Life By The Drop]
And for as
long as the blues can lend comfort in a storm, Stevie Ray Vaughan will still
be out there somewhere...playing.
[Back to Bob's SRV page]