Sunday, June 27, 2010

Stevie Ray Vaughan: 20 Years After He Leaves Us, and He’s Still One of the Best




So…the other day I’m on the highway at 0 dark thirty.

I am sober.

It’s a warm, clear, full moon-lit morning.

Sunroof open.

Windows down.

Smith & Wesson on the bucket seat next to me is riding shotgun.

He’s my only friend at this hour.

Stereo is blasting with the SRV and Double Trouble album Couldn’t Stand The Weather on the mp3 player.

The song Things That I Used To Do comes on.

I let it track through.

When it’s over, I actually say to myself as I tear-ass down the interstate, “Gawd-damn! That song fucking rocks! Stevie’s getting the fuck off!”

I wish I was a Texan.

Maybe.

I play it again, Sam.

Now…I’ve heard that cut probably 500,000 times, as I have owned the vinyl album since its release way back in the mid-80s, and SRV in general has always been one of my favorites.

In this case, the planets must have been in alignment, or the conditions were perfect, because it was like I’d never heard the song before.

Or, maybe this was the first time I ever really listened to it closely.

It was truly amazing and spectacular, and I vowed to find a video of SRV performing the song live, because I figured it would be even more awesome than the studio recording I had just listened to twice.




The thiiiiiiiiiiiiings… that I used to do… lawd I won’t… do no mo’…

I was fortunate enough to see SRV live and in concert at Emens Auditorium at Ball State University way back in 1986.


I don’t remember too much about the show, probably because I was TIRED, but I do recall that it seemed as if SRV played rhythm and lead guitar all at the same time.

The thiiiiiiiiiiiiings… that I used to do… lawd I won’t… do no mo’…

It was amazing and spectacular, and his rhythm section, known worldwide as Double Trouble, was stupendous!

A few years ago on the anniversary of SRV’s unfortunate helicopter ride, I was sitting home alone and drinking screwdrivers, nursing a bad back with muscle relaxers, and jamming through my SRV record collection at ear-splitting levels.

I was enjoying myself too much, apparently, when my wife and kids came home from some kinda wholesome approved activity.

They were horrified at my condition and the decibels of my ass-kicking stereo.

I exclaimed to no one in particular and everyone, “Damn! This shit rocks!”

It wasn’t long before I got TIRED, and fell face first into my plate of spaghetti at the dinner table.

I was a bad Dad that day.

Here’s a little tip: Try not to mix muscle relaxers with screwdrivers. It is neither prudent nor proper, but it makes you forget all about an aching back!

The thiiiiiiiiiiiiings… that I used to do… lawd I won’t… do no mo’…

Now…I have heard it said, on the intardnets and elsewhere, that SRV really wasn’t that big of a deal.

…that his amazing sound was simply because of the super-sensitive nuclear powered pick-ups on his guit-box Fender Stratocaster…or something…and that any dumb monkey could play and sound like he did.

I’m no guitar geek, and I can’t read or play a note of music on any kind of instrument known or unknown to mankind.

But, I say to this, “Whatever, man.”

I’ve also heard it said that SRV simply ripped off about a thousand classic black blues men and Jimi Hendrix and electrified everything and never really did anything original or cool.

Whatever, man.

I told my kids that when they say ‘whatever’ to me, I interpret it to mean, “Fuck you, Dad.”

Same kinda deal here with the SRV naysayers.

Fuck you…and your dads.

Rest in peace, Stevie.

Coming up on twenty years since you left us, and I still miss you brother, but your music continues to bring joy to my heart.


The thiiiiiiiiiiiiings… that I used to do… lawd I won’t… do no mo’…

8 comments:

  1. I can remember exactly where I was when I heard the news of his death. I was fortunate to hear Stevie in concert several times, and each time was magical. It was so sad that after he had finally gotten his shit together and was getting healthy that death took him from us... RIP SRV. Thanks for the reminder Walter.

    Alan (akh_v2.0 on TF)

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  2. The irony of your S&W riding "shotgun" wasn't lost. lol
    SRV did indeed rock whatever house he was in. Thanks for the vid.

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  3. Great post to bad he died as young and great as he was. RIP Kenny Davis

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  4. .....AWESOME TRIBUTE......THE ANNIVERSARY IS COMING UP. I CHALLENGE ALL FACEBOOK USERS TO POST HIS ANNIVERSARY ON AUG 27TH AND LEAVE IS UP THERE FOR 35 DAYS.....ONE DAY FOR EVERY YEAR HE LIVED ! THIS MAN ROCKED OUR WORLD.....LETS SHOW HIM THAT 20 YEARS LATER THAT HE STILL DOES ! DAWN MC CANN TIDWELL <3

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  5. A tribute worth for Stevie.

    Let's not forget that great men are always judged unfavorably by their contemporaneous. History will tell anyway, the truth of this man speaks flawlessly through his guitar, his voice, his strong will and thankfulness he demonstrated throughout his whole life.

    RIP Stevie Ray Vaughan

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  6. Saw him 5 times, the best I've seen.

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  7. Zoomie - You AND SRV rock. Was (is) your Mom also a Fowl Domestic Terrorist? LOLOLOL You kill me you Hoser

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  8. Yeah, SRV was really responsible for a bunch of the older blues masters getting some money. Guys like Albert King, Albert Collins, Lonnie Mack and the estates of T-Bone Walker, Freddie King etal were revived when intelligent music lovers started reading the liner notes and credits. I know I pretty much gave up on hard rock about this time. Saw SRV and DT at Clowes Hall, and several other times after that. I find it ironic that Stevie goes down in an aero accident yet Bon Jovi and other no talent bums continue to crank out drivel which is eaten up by the American public. Goes to show you why McDonalds sells the most hamburgers and American Idol is raking in the cash. Vaughn's music will never slip into oblivian, you can not deny his God Given talent.

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