I don’t usually do a tribute entry for a celebrity. Celebrities are vastly over rated. I don’t see anything particularly exemplary about their lifestyles that influence my own. An entertainment section was never going to be included in this blog.I’ve stuck MAINLY with politics(obviously),some religion and a smattering of interesting science articles.Many celebrities have personal issues and some are flat out perverts.
Why would they matter to us? Most of us don’t care what they have to say or what they do. They have deluded themselves into thinking they are all that important.Worse is when they think their political opinions should matter to us. They’re generally liberals living in a world of fantasy. Their personal relationships are often tattered. I do know they donate a bundle to liberal causes and politicians and sometimes they donate to charities then toot their own horn.There’s just no reason for them to matter to the average American.
That said,i’m making ONE exception for Stevie Ray Vaughan. Yes, i know he had personal issues especially with drugs and alcohol. He got into the right business for that one. They don’t call it sex,drugs and rock and roll for nothing.i don’t believe the industry causes these problems but i am convinced they offer fertile ground for people who already struggle with addictions.
Stevie was willing to admit his short comings. He said in his own words that much of what he suffered was self inflicted. He had real candor and humility. It wasn’t a put on.
He was extremely talented but i think that his success might have surprised even him. I don’t think he’d have cared one way or the other if he ever achieved the fame that he did and would have been content to play clubs and make records.
I imagine as long as he would have been able to at least make a living from his music he’d have been happy.
He was a married man and gave the pet name of his wife to a song. Stevie Ray married Lenora Darlene Bailey- aka “Lenny” Bailey. on December 23 1979.I’ve seen a number of different dates for their divorce so not being exactly sure which one is correct, suffice it to say i think their marriage lasted 6 yrs. (don’t quote me on that)Evidently she shared his propensity to party and that is a not a good mix for any marriage especially when one gets clean and sober and the other isn’t interested. I’m not disparaging anyone personally here. It’s just a fact.
Stevie got clean and sober. He did achieve fame and success.His most notable and often mentioned work is Texas Rain. My personal favorite though is Riviera Paradise and my favorite live performance is Love Struck Baby.
I picked Riviera Paradise because of how beautiful the song is and the skill he brings to it.
Love Struck is my favorite live performance because of this little move he spontaneously does. Can you catch it? There’s a Texas Twang to it & the move shows just how much his guitar was part of who he was.
That move gets me every time!
He almost dances to every tune he plays but he always taps his cowboy boots to the beat.
His DOB is Oct 3,1954 making him just 2 yrs younger than me.There’s the kicker. Had he lived he would have been 65 by now. He died at 35. The part i can’t wrap my head around is that his death at 35-too young-was preventable. It didn’t have to happen.Sometimes i feel angry when i think about it. Other times i just feel incredibly sad. My Catholic faith tells me that in a matter of seconds he faced eternal life without knowing it would be his day.We should all be aware of the truth in that-sometimes it is difficult.
Stevie Ray passed away on the same date as his father. Ironically,my father, Robert, passed away on July 23rd(Parkinson’s Disease)and my mother,Marie, passed away on June 23rd(cardiac arrest/cancer). They were married 60 plus years & died one year apart. Mom was a strong person but she just wasn’t the same after dad passed away. Their home wasn’t the same either. You could feel dad was missing. I wonder sometimes if all those dates are the same for a reason. Maybe they are not insignificant. I don’t know what to read into them,but i’m sure they are not coincidental. Maybe they are messages to us we are meant to learn from? Don’t know.
I can’t imagine the grief his brother Jimmy must have felt. They were very close. I would be lost without my own brother. We’re many miles apart but there isn’t a day that goes by i don’t think of him. It’s a special relationship. How would you ever get over the loss?
THE VAUGHAN BROTHERS
I can’t imagine what his poor mother must have went through.The thought that it was preventable,that it was a matter of missing out on a seat meant to be his and that he was just so happy at this point in his life makes it especially hard to take.
The pilot should have known better than to fly out when visibility was next to nil. The company should have known better than to send out a pilot unfamiliar with the area.
There were three seats on the one helicopter intended for Stevie, his brother Jimmie and Jimmie’s wife Connie. Two members of Clapton’s[that’s Eric Clapton, who they performed with]crew took up the seats and Stevie was basically forced to take the fateful helicopter. This begs the question; why didn’t the Clapton crew stay behind and take a later flight the next day rather than take someone else’s seat?
Here’s a man who could have died from drugs and alcohol and lived only 4 yrs after he began his journey of sobriety.
There were no mechanical failures or drugs/alcohol involved.
People may think we lost a great guitarist. We did. The tragedy is the loss of a person who was just beginning his life. I have to think i made it to 66 and he should have made it to his 60’s. Thirty-five is just too young. He didn’t have any children. You have to think of the joy he missed there,that maybe fame and fortune robbed him of.When his brother Jimmie gave the speech for his brother’s induction into the Rock and Roll of Fame he pointed to his own family-his wife and 3 kids.I think right at that moment Jimmie realized what his brother really missed out on.
He did have a lot of close friends & family who just loved the man.He took great satisfaction in his achievements musically. You can see that he seemed fulfilled at the time.You could say he passed away doing what he loved most.If there were any comfort at all that might be it. The GOOD memories would be helpful.I know sometimes his tragic end overshadows the best parts of his life.
Ironically i woke up to the self inflicted wounds in my own life as i approached 40.He had already given it up by 35. It took me another 4 yrs after his death to get knocked on my can and realize how stupid i was. I think we were both saved by the grace of God and not our own efforts.
You have to think he could have died a terrible death at the same age from drugs and alcohol. i read articles that said the doctor gave him a month and another article that said 2 weeks.
I wish i had met him. He had a beautiful smile especially when you talked about the music he loved or his brother Jimmy. I’ll have to assume some of his demeanor at times was probably from being high.I wonder how he could play guitar as well as he did without having it affected.I did see him do some crazy Hendrix stuff onstage.He looked pretty angry when he trashed his own guitar. Could have done without that.Even Hendrix was a better guitarist when he wasn’t doing some crazy stuff himself. I had all of Hendrix’s albums up to Axis:Bold as Love.Vaughan surpassed him. I wish Stevie would have at least dabbled in slide guitar. Some guitarists over do it but i think it would have been something if Stevie had incorporated a little bit into 1 or 2 songs.The showmanship was Stevie playing guitar behind his back. That’s difficult but just isn’t as impressive to me as when he was zoned into the music he played.
“There are 2 types of guitarists in the world,SRV and everyone else”.
The entertainment world is a [secular] nightmare. They quickly forget people and move onto the next big thing.* They continue to offer the same diabolical trappings.Anyone who grew up in the 60’s-as Vaughan and i did-had to be influenced by the counter culture that thought it was moving towards utopia and believed they could change the world. You’re always idealistic when you’re young. It has to be tempered.Unchecked it’s destructive.When you reach a certain age it’s time to grow up and start being honest with yourself.Stevie was getting there.
I have to admit the music was awesome back then but some of the people(in fact MOST of the people)were a terrible influence on us.You can idolize these people too much.
In the end Stevie may have looked like he belonged to the world. I say nope.Stevie WAS Texas.
We are at least fortunate to still have him with us in his music,especially in his love of the blues. Of course,we will always wish he were really here and that August 27 came and went without any news.Yea,hard to take no matter how many years pass.
Rev 21:4 “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”
My mother’s favorite hymn(and mine). i heard that they used the hymn at Stevie’s funeral. Not sure how true this is,but decided to include it anyway.It’s a beautiful piece of music composed by Franz Schubert.
I will go to my grave always wishing i had met him.You could call it an obsession. Maybe it is.I’ve thought about the circumstances of that fateful day. I would have done things differently. First of all,I would never have moved in with Vaughan. A no go. All he would have had to do that night was call,say the weather was poor and he’d be staying in Wisconsin for the night. No problem. I could have waited 1 day. His return would not be that urgent.
There’s something to be said for a little time apart but since none of us know what he was thinking at the time it’s hard to say why he felt he had to leave when he did.
The one good thing is that he seemed to be on the right road at the time and he was always a beautiful soul in spite of his addictions. We don’t always have the answers do we?
Stevie himself summed up his whole life in a simple song called Life By The Drop. For Stevie,it wasn’t his usual style but given all that happened in his life it’s especially touching. I want to remember him by the image this conveys. It’s difficult to say anything else. He said he was in step with his life. I don’t think we can say anything else beyond those words. We can leave him to the God he thanked & be grateful for the life and people all of us are given.
Don’t underestimate the talent of his brother Jimmie Vaughan either. He’s an accomplished guitarist in his own right.They thought the world of each other.Love the picture of their duet on Pipeline. Big Brother and Little Brother. 😊
OTHER LESSER KNOWN FACTS ABOUT STEVIE
Stevie stood 5’5″ inches but he seemed larger than life didn’t he? While i was 2 yr older than him,he was 3 inches taller than me and given that i’ll be 67 soon have lost a couple inches already. Stevie would have likely been a tad shorter had he reached his 60’s.It’s what happens when we get older.
Stevie played at the inaugural ball of the Senior Bush George HW when he was elected to be President. This would never fly in 2019. The liberals would have nailed him to the wall and called for a boycott. Bush was from Texas. It made sense that Vaughan was invited to play.
Take this to the bank and cash the check.
Love You Stevie Ray ❤️
*Look at what David Bowie did to Stevie. I never cared for the man or his music anyway.Mick Jagger is another ‘winner.’Don’t get me started on how he has treated the people in his life. Real talent,like Stevie,survives. Most of these celebrities become has beens. The world they live in chews em up and spits em out.There’s too much emphasis on youth,fame,glory, over sexualization. There is not enough emphasis on real talent.Seriously,with a very few exceptions like Stevie,you’re probably better off knowing Jane and John Doe down the street.