Stevie Ray Vaughn Essay, Research Paper
The Life Of
Stevie Ray Vaughan
Secret Tweaker Pad
Stevie Ray Vaughan a legend, a master of his art, but most of all salutary to the blues revival in his day in age. At a time where blues was fading out, in the late eighties, like a candle dying out he was the one match that kept it lit, and almost brought blues to salvation. Great blues riffs and sick licks going strong, and he would keep them going all night long. Mostly self taught he was a true musician whose time ran short.
Stevie Ray Vaughan was born in Dallas, Texas on October 3, 1954 to Jim and Martha Vaughan. Stevie Ray first got interested in the guitar around the age of eleven in 1963. By then his older brother (Jimmie Vaughan born in 1951.) had already been playing for a couple years. He taught Stevie Ray a few tricks, a couple blues chords, and minor pentatonic licks, but not much though. Stevie Ray was mostly self taught, he grew accustomed to never using his pinkie. Growing up he listened to great blues legends like the famous B.B. King, the not as famous, but close, who really didn’t get the recognition he deserved, Albert King. He found their music gratifying, and admired them greatly, learning all their licks by ear, on stage he could mirror any solos they threw at him. Both Albert King and B.B. King played a very influential role in the development of Stevie Rays style. By the time he was fourteen he was already playing in Dallas blues clubs with bands like Blackbird, the Shanstones, and the Epileptic Marshmallow. Stevie Ray being so involved with his music barely had time for highschool. He dropped out in 1972.
After dropping out of high school, he moved to Austin to take his music to a new level and to make money along the way. After a year of playing with a couple local bands, in Austin, like the NightCrawlers, and the Cobras, he decided it was time to move on. In 1976 he formed a band called Triple Threat Revue. This band included W.C Clark, Lou Ann Barton, Freddie Pharoah, and Mike Kindred. Kindred and Pharoah later left and were replaced by Jackie Newhouse and Chris Layton. The band renamed themselves Triple Threat. Stevie Ray then married his first wife Lenora Baily, even though he claimed his old beat up 1959 stratocaster to be his real first wife. After three years of being with Triple Threat Lou Ann Barton and W.C Clark left. Stevie Ray then renamed the band Double Trouble. In 1980 the band performed at the Steamboat club in Austin. This was brodcasted live over the radio, and later in 1992 was released as an album called “In The Beginning”. In 1982 came his first big break. After being in the Rolling Stones magazine, they were invited by Jerry Wexler to perform in Switzerland at the Montreaux Festival. The first time an unsigned and unrecorded band played at this festival. This is where David Bowie discovered Vaughan and his talent. Bowie invited Stevie Ray to play on Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” album. Where Stevie Ray wrote the guitar part for the song “Fame”. Jackson Brown, who was also in the audience at the Montreaux Festival, imediately offered them some time in his studio in L.A. John Hammond soon signed double Trouble to Epic Records.
In 1983 they released “Texas Flood”. This album was nominated for two Grammy awards: “Best Traditional Blues Recording” and “Best Rock Instrumental Performance” (for “Rude Mood”). Vaughan also won three categories in the Guitar Player’s Readers Poll: “Best New Talent”, “Best Blues Talent”, and “Best Blues Guitarist” (Beating out the famous Eric Clapton). In 1984 Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble released “Couldn’t Stand the Weather”. This album was in memory of Jimi Hendrix with the album cover looking exactly like “VooDoo Chile(Slight Return)”. It was a huge hit. The following year Stevie Ray added a keyboardist by the name of Reese Wynans, and became the first white musician to win the W.C. Handy Blues Foundation’s Blues Entertainer of the Year award.
With fame and fortune also came drug abuse for Stevie Ray. In the mid eighties he was considered a drug addict. A heavy drinker, a cocaine addict, and to top it off, he smoked cigarettes. For a while he would put a little bit of cocaine in a glass of straight Whiskey and drink it all down. Until one day when he was rushed to the hospital because the cocaine had been eating away at his stomach. He never drank coke again. In 1985 he released “Soul to Soul”. This is Double Troubles third gold album. Stevie Ray received his fifth Grammy nomination, and is also voted “Best Electric Blues Guitarist” by Guitar Player Magazine for the third straight year. He would go on to win this award until 1991. In 1986 Stevie Ray releases “Live Alive” and is the first musician in history to be nominated for the same Grammy in the same year; “Best Rock Instrumental Performance”, and of course he wins the Grammy. While on tour in Germany, Stevie Ray was so drunk that he collapsed on stage. He later joined a drug rehabilitation center in London. A couple weeks later Stevie Rays father dies of Parkinson’s disease. In 1987 Stevie Ray appeared on a Cinemax special called “Blues Session” with Albert King, B.B. King, Phil Collins, and Eric Clapton. Both Vaughan and Tommy Shannon emerge clean and sober from a Atlanta detox center. Later that year he files for divorce from Lenora Vaughan. In 1989 “In Step” is released. This is the first album he makes without aid of drugs. “Crossfire” becomes his first number one album radio hit and earns him yet another Grammy.
In 1990 Stevie and his older brother Jimmie record “Family Style” in March through April. In June, he goes on tour with Joe Cocker. On August 25, Double Trouble performs a concert at Alpine Valley, Wisconsin. Performing with the band was Robert Cray, Buddy Guy, and Eric Clapton. After a encore on the 26th, Stevie Ray boards a helicopter on its way to Chicago. Not long after midnight on August 27, on a dark foggy night when the helicopter crashes into a hill, Stevie Ray Vaughan is killed, and so are three passangers and the pilot. Stevie Ray was buried in Dallas, Texas on the 31st of August.
“Stevie Ray Vaughan” Encyclopedia Of Rock RollingStone.com Copyright 1983,1995 by Rolling Stone Press Webpage Address: www.rollingstone.com/sections/artists/text/bio.asp?af1=&lookUpstring=1321
“Stevie Ray Vaughan” Biography Rolling Stone Magazine RollingStone.com Webpage Address: www.rollingstone.com/sections/artists/text/bio.asp?=strBioType=BIO&LookUp…
“A Short Biography of Stevie Ray Vaughn” Webpage: http://comp.uark.edu/~scherry/srv/bio.html
“Quotes About Stevie Ray Vaughan From Those Who Knew Him” Webpage: http://comp.uark.edu/~scherry/srv/quotes.html
“Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Guitars” Webpage: http://comp.edu/~scherry/srv/guitars.html