Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Changes come before we can go. Learn to see them before we're too old. Don't just take me for tryin' to be heavy, understand, it's time to get ready for the storm

Quick Hit

“Couldn’t Stand the Weather”, Stevie Ray Vaughan (1984)

On August 26, 1990 he had just played guitar with Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, and Robert Cray. He got in a helicopter that took him up from the ‘Alpine Music Theatre’ in Wisconsin. The helicopter crashed and that was the immediate, stunning death of one of the best blues guitarists ever.

He had only sobered up a few years before from very serious drug and alcohol addiction – he lived through that – but then his card was punched, his time was up.

Stevie Ray Vaughan was Texas born and you can hear that in the sound of his guitar. Arguably he defined the Texas Blues sound and made it his own. His debut album in 1983, “Texas Flood” went multiplatinum. He called his band “Double Trouble” after an Otis Rush song of the same name.The album also included the gems, "Love Struck Baby" and "Pride and Joy".

His second album released in 1984 titled “Couldn’t Stand the Weather” featured a cover of Jimi Hendrix, ‘Voodoo Child”. “Could Stand the Weather” and my favourite SRV song, “Cold Shot” fared well also. After that the touring and the fame took its toll on Stevie. His studio work had stalled and he struggled with alcohol. By the end of 1986 he was told by Dr. Victor Bloom who had helped Eric Clapton and Pete Townshend kick heroine that if he did not quit the cocaine and whiskey he would be dead in a month. Stevie checked in to Peachford Hospital in Atlanta to recover.

He did recover and kick his habits. He toured and played with some of the greatest players of all time including: Nile Rodger, Paul Butterfield, Stevie Wonder, Dick Dale, Phil Collins, Mitch Mitchell, Jeff Beck, Steve Miller, Bruce Hornsby, George Thorogood, Huey Lewis,  and Joe Satriani. Astounding by anyone’s standard!

Stevie’s brother Jimmy is an excellent guitarist in his own right and often performs with the likes of Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck.  The Texas Blues live on...and on the up-side the last thing he did was play guitar with Clapton.

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