Well I guess it was 1983. The venue: Night Town in Destin Florida. The artist: Stevie Ray Vaughn.
I had heard Vaughn’s music for the first time about six months before through friend and constant music provider, Billy Smith. The first chords of “Mary Had A Little Lamb” and “Texas Flood”, simply blew me away. I had never heard anything with kind of energy in it. That kind of spacing and phrasing with guitar licks that seemed like he had been dropped from another planet.
Hearing Stevie Ray Vaughn was one thing, but seeing him perform was a visual mind blower. Night town was a smoky honky tonk, and I was about 15ft from the stage. He comes out jeans stuffed in almost knee high boots, silky blousy shirt. Broad brimmed hat, with a huge feather plume sticking out. Wow he was a sight ! Let me tell ya the combination of watching him and hearing him was something one could never forget.
What I still remember most some 27 years later, is I had never seen a player and his instrument as one like this. It was and is hard to describe how everything just poured out of him, from his heart right on through those six strings. It was amazing and really to even try and describe it, does the event a dis service, makes it hollow.
The dark day of August 27, 1990 brought the horrible news. Vaughn and others were killed in a helicopter crash after a gig. Gone. Done. No more. Lives turned into memories and epitaphs. Go check out something special.Go check out Stevie Ray Vaughn’s music. Not only will you not be sorry, but you will find a road where you thought was a wall. RIP SRV