Before the last song of the last show
of a two-night stand at Alpine Valley Music Theatre
on August 25th & 26th in 1990
guitar legend Eric Clapton stepped up to the microphone...
"I'd like to bring out to join me, in truth
the best guitar players in the entire world:
Buddy Guy - Stevie Ray Vaughan
Robert Cray - Jimmie Vaughan"
The group lit into an extended jam
of the classic "Sweet Home Chicago"
with 40,000 people soaking up blistering guitar licks
as the performers traded vocals
Shortly after midnight on Aug. 27, 1990 — 27 years ago
four helicopters left Alpine Valley for Chicago
carrying performers and crew members...Three made it
The other flew barely a half-mile
before crashing into a ski slope
Among the five dead:
~ Stevie Ray Vaughan — 35 years old
newly sober, on the cusp of real stardom
and already considered
one of the greatest electric guitarists who ever lived
~ Robert Brooks - Clapton`s agent
at Creative Artists Agency of Beverly Hills, California
~ Colin Smythe - A Clapton tour manager
~ Nigel Browne - A Clapton bodyguard
~ Jeff Brown - The Pilot
"After he cleaned himself up, by 1990,
he was back to playing guitar in a ferocious way.
The tour shows with Eric Clapton are legendary...
Who knows what he would have done next."
said Jason Hanley - Senior Director of Education
for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
Stevie Ray Vaughan
is the latest in a lengthy list of musicians
killed in aviation accidents over many decades
Other victims have included
~ rock stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, The Big Bopper
~ rhythm and blues artist Otis Redding
~ folk and rock singerJim Croce
~ actor, musician, and singer-songwriter Rick Nelson
After the crash
Vaughan's music quickly sold out
in local record stores
Two subsequent posthumous albums
"Family Style" with his older brother Jimmie in 1990
and studio outtakes collection "The Sky is Crying" in 1991
debuted in the top 10 on the Billboard charts
To this day, you can hear Vaughan's influence
when modern-day guitar masters
like John Mayer and Gary Clark Jr. wail
Stevie Ray Vaughan and the Double Trouble band
~ Stevie Ray Vaughan
~ Chris Layton (drums)
~ Tommy Shannon (bass)
~ Reese Wynans (keyboards)
were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
on April 19th of 2015
Stevie Ray's work will be honored and preserved
Stevie Ray Vaughan's legacy lives on...
and on...and on...