Thursday, May 30, 2013

Stevie Ray Vaughan: One of the All-Time Great Guitarists (Video)

Stevie Ray Vaughan was a self-taught guitarist from Texas who rose to fame and acclaim in the 1980's due to his innovative and energetic guitar solos.  He mainly played on a Fender Stratocaster, fitted out with the heaviest gauge strings available.  The strings were so heavy that he regularly tuned his guitar down a half step, to Eb.  His bass players did the same.

Vaughan was a good-looking guy who always wore cowboy hats, decorated with shiny bling or rhinestones or fancy bands.  In many ways his garb reminded me of Hank Williams (Sr).  Even his guitar strap was decorated with large musical notes, like those Hank Williams often wore.  During the evening of August 27, 1990, SRV had just performed at the Alpine Valley Resort in East Troy, Wisconsin and was ready to board a helicopter for a ride back to Chicago.  Four helicopters departed in a thick fog, one every two minutes; Vaughan got the last seat available in one helicopter, asking his wife and brother to take the next one as he was anxious to get back to Chicago.  Vaughan's copter never made it, as it flew into the side of a mountain shortly after taking off, killing everyone on board.  Stevie Ray Vaughan is buried in Dallas. (Read more about it here.)

It seems that if you desire a quick death, become a famous musical performer and take a ride in light aircraft.   Stevie joined many others who went that way before him, Patsy Cline, Otis Redding, Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper, Ritchie Valens, Jim Reeves, Ricky Nelson and others.

In any case, here's a video of Stevie Ray Vaughan, made in 1984.  It's a comical piece featuring his hit song "Cold Shot."

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