In August of 1990 I was 17, getting ready to start my senior year in high school. That summer I attended my first huge concert at Alpine Valley, a rite of passage for kids growing up in Wisconsin. No, I did not attend Stevie Ray Vaughan's final concert on August 26/27, 1990. I was not a cool kid. I went to a Mötley Crüe-headlined Stars and Guitars tour, which included the likes of Joe Satriani, Tesla, and a few others smaller acts that I don't remember.
But I do vividly remember hearing about the death of Vaughan. He died in the early morning hours of August 27, due to a helicopter crashing in dense fog just after the Alpine Valley show. Vaughan's music was all over FM radio, and everyone seemed infected by it, even my boring parents. And how many times since then have I danced with some random dude to "Pride and Joy?" Especially when I lived in St. Louis and we would hang out at the Soulard blues clubs.
What got to me today after reading over several memorial blog posts is that fact that Vaughan was only 35 when he died. And now I am 37. Vaughan will always be this larger-than-life musician that I remember from my youth, and now that I am an adult, Vaughan's music still sounds as relevant, if not more so, than it did in 1990.
I was going to post some SRV MP3s, but Sony music holds the copyrights on SRV's catalog, and I am sure they would make google yank my post. So instead, here is video montage of SRV set to one of my favorite Vaughan songs, "Life by the Drop," off of The Sky Is Crying,an album of outtakes released posthumously in 1991. While Vaughan was mostly know for his killer electric blues riffs, this song also demonstrates Vaughan's prowess on acoustic guitar.
I'm going to go strum my guitar and remember SRV.