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I remember it like it was yesterday, August 27 1990. When I learned Stevie Ray Vaughan had left this life and world. I couldn’t believe it the guy every guitar player in Texas reverences, was gone. Killed in a helicopter crash leaving a show. I had just returned home from working in New York for the summer. We had driven straight through, and arrived the night before, and instantly crashed the minute I got to lay down. So it was the afternoon of the 27th before I got up. A family member had just walked in from work and told me as I was still rubbing the sleep from my eyes. I turned on the TV and immediately caught a news update confirming the horrible news about Stevie Ray.

My mind shot back to when, almost to the day the year before. When I along with several thousand others packed into the Cotton Bowl, in Dallas Texas on a Sunday afternoon. We were there to see the first Miller Lite/Randy Quaid party with The WHO, STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN and Double Trouble, and The FABULOUS THUNDERBIRDS featuring JIMMIE VAUGHAN (Stevie’s older brother) on guitar. As a guitar player and music lover myself, I was fortunate to be able to witness Stevie Ray’s force of nature while standing in front of the stage less than 30 feet away. To say I was completely mesmerized would be a total understatement. I was CHANGED forever in my view and approach to the guitar, and what it meant to be an ENTERTAINER all caps.

The electricity and human feeling that was leaving Stevie’s fingertips, traveling through his guitar and amp and then pouring out into the universe was just beautiful. The level of soul that embodied his voice as he sang felt like a fiery sermon. Being delivered by an impassioned southern preacher at an open tent revival, it was glorious. Quickly I got ready and headed over to my buddy Danny’s place where he had a tattoo shop. I could hear the strains of “Pride and Joy” coming out from the stereo in my friend’s shop. I had listened to the DJs on Q102 talking in saddened hushed tones as they played Stevie Ray tracks one after another. This truly was another day the music had died. When like Buddy Holly before him, Stevie Ray Vaughan stepped into eternity. And the state of Texas mourned another of it’s guitar playing sons……..RIP Stevie Ray.

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