Good Morning PBS Fund raiser- Stevie Ray Vaughn and Albert King!!!
PBS, this left wing bastion of historical silly putty always airs the very best of our culture with some obscure documentary or footage of famous musicians when it’s fund raising time. Watching these two masters exemplifies why I love the blues. In a true duet they swapped lead for rhythm continually grimacing soulfully with every bended note, straight, and fret. Albert King has produced a body of work that is uniquely his and is to Blues as Pete Rose is to Baseball. But Stevie Ray was beyond all of it! All living Blues Masters paid homage to Stevie, and don’t forget he may have been the ugliest Guitarist in history.
Recently exposed my memory has been at best, pathetic. Give or take a year in 1982 while living in Arlington, TX I found myself alone Memorial Day weekend with no wife or children who had traveled to St. Louis to visit Grandma & Pop. To put this in perspective, for two years I traveled to and from work and always passed a billboard that proudly announced blues acts at a local saloon called the ‘Blue Armadillo’ catering to Blues aficionados. I never heard of Stevie Ray Vaughn, but hells bells I was never going to get a better opportunity. So without further dispatch I showed up around 6:00 PM on a Saturday evening. Yes it was a bit early.
Five hours later:
Unlike the Bagwan I didn’t meet celebrities on every other flight given my place in steerage with the goats and chickens so I only have one “Brush with Greatness.” At the end of his second set I walked into the bathroom to give some beer back and pulled into a urinal. Normally I look straight ahead at the wall when the urinal next to me is occupied but given Stevie’s pimp-like attire I knew him to be the guy knocking the socks off me and the patrons! Having consumed enough beer for five I looked to my right and gave Stevie some advice. I slurred “Your pretty good Stevie, maybe with a little more practice you’ll make it.” He was good natured and laughed telling me “I’ll work a little harder.” It wasn’t long after that encounter I began to hear his music and noticed that he was playing in much larger venues obviously enjoying some success.
The fact he leaped from this rock in 1990 in a helicopter crash just goes to show Margo and her elk there are no guardian angels! He beat drugs & alcohol and finally hit his stride when he was taken from us. THAT JUST SUCKED!