Stevie Ray Vaughan

Stevie Ray Vaughan
Stevie Ray Vaughan was a white Texas guitar slinger with a hot blues trigger. When it came to the Blues, Stevie kicked ass , with lightning quick leads like no one before him. Stevie Ray Vaughan was born October 3rd, 1954. As a youngster Stevie would sneak in and pound on his older brother Jimmie’s guitar when he wasn’t looking. (Jimmie Vaughan would go on to lead his own successful group the “The Fabulous Thunderbirds”). Eventually Stevie got his own guitar and by the age of 11 had shown a remarkable adeptness for playing. In 1972 he quit high school and moved to Austin, Texas where he slept on pool tables where he eventually joined a band called “Krackerjack”. In 1973 at “Ray’s Music Exchange” he acquired his signature guitar. A beat-up 1959 Stratocaster with a 1962 rosewood neck. This guitar was to become known as “Number One”. Stevie had other guitars made for him which he would occasionally use thruout his career but “Number One” was, well…number one. Stevie would drift in and out of bands over the next few years , “The Cobra’s” and the “Nightcrawler’s” probably the best well known. Although Stevie had started to become despondent over his lack of success he by now had pulled to the front of the pack as far as blues guitarists in the Austin music circle. Just like his idol Jimi Hendrix , Stevie could cover Hendrix tunes note for note,and like Hendrix he could play behind his head, behind his back, thru his legs and mastered the wah-wah pedal. By 1978 Stevie was in a band called “Triple Threat”. When vocalist “Lou Ann Barton” quit in 1980, “Triple Threat” became “Double Trouble” with Stevie handling the lead vocals. In 1981 former Johnny Winter bassist Tommy Shannon joined, along with Chris “Whipper” Layton on drums and now known as “Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble” this solifiied the line-up that would last throughout Stevie’s career. 1982 was Stevie’s breakthrough year. He was spotted by Mick Jagger who was so impressed he asked Stevie to play at a private party. But the real turning point came later that year when “Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble” played the “Montreux International Jazz Festival” in Switzerland. Both David Bowie and Jackson Browne were in the audience. David Bowie was so impressed he invited Stevie to guest on his “Let’s Dance” album. Browne offered Stevie free studio time and in two days they recorded “Texas Flood”. Signed to Epic records by the legendary John Hammond, “Texas Flood” released June 13th, 1983 became a hit album. On May 15th of 1984 “Couldn’t Stand The Weather” was released with accompanying MTV video. On September 30th, 1995 “Soul to Soul” was released. All three albums went gold and by now he was considered the new king of the blues. In 1986 while on tour in Europe Stevie collapsed on stage. Years of mixing cocaine with his whiskey had eaten his stomach up and coupled with life on the road his health had suffered. . He entered a London rehab and cleaned-up. The remarkable thing is he stayed clean !!!!!! Stevie’s two record-set live album “Live Alive” was released November 15th, 1986.Stevie regrouped and by 1989’s “In Step” Stevie was at the top of his game. “Crossfire” became a number one radio hit. In March of 1990 Stevie recorded an album with his brother entitled “Family Style”. His also made an appearance on MTV were he performed 3 acoustic tunes. On August 27th of 1990 after performing a concert with Eric Clapton, Robert Cray and Jeff Beck,he boarded a Helicopter, (originally intended for Eric Clapton), and shortly after take-off due to gross pilot error crashed into the side of a mountain, dead at 35

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