by Stewart Pittman-2004:
Rest In Peace, Stevie Ray.
The Sky is Crying
14 years ago Stevie Ray Vaughan died when the helicopter he was in crashed into a fog-enshrouded embankement outside Alpine Valley, Wisconsin. With this unceremonious collision, a giant in the field of American music was forever silenced. When I heard the news that day I cried like a baby, even though I was already 23.
Back in the 1980's, when Boy George, Thompson Twins and Duran Duran were filling the airwaves with the frilly sounds of a slick new British invasion, Stevie Ray was busy re-writing the electric Blues guitar. He did so because he knew how to do nothing else, he lacked good looks, sound judgement, and a musical pedigree. But what Stevie had in spades was TONE, that indefinable aural quality that most guitarists would sell their souls to possess.
So do me a favor, if you like SRV, listen to his music today. I do, EVERYDAY - for something about this American original, this gee-tar impresario, this ugly little cat from Texas with the blistering chops speaks to me like no other musical artist on the planet. Stevie Ray Vaughan died that day, but his signature sound will live on forever in the hearts and minds of millions of fiercely loyal fans. The rest of us should count ourselves blessed if we leave one-tenth the legacy when we're gone.