Remembering Stevie Ray


Posted on August 26, 2010 at 9:29 PM

Updated today at 12:46 PM

Twenty years ago, guitar legend and Austin icon Stevie Ray Vaughan was doing what he did best.

On August 26, 1990, the Grammy winner was on stage playing to 30,000 fans, but that show would be his last.

“We were at the top of our game. It was kind of like an understanding in the band that everyone gave 110 percent every time you got up there, no excuses”, said Tommy Shannon, bassist for Double Trouble.

Stevie Ray Vaughan moved to Austin in 1971, and changed the local music scene.

At that time, Shannon couldn’t imagine a world without his band leader. Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble were hot, and playing to a sold-out crowd at the Alpine Valley Music Theatre in Wisconsin along with Eric Clapton, Robert Cray, and Buddy Guy.

“The magic of it was those two days with Eric, Eric Clapton. We were staying in Chicago. I had a good talk with Stevie after that last show. Everybody was feeling great. We were glad for what we had, what we had come through, and that we were all in great shape. We liked each other, loved each other, loved our band,” said drummer Chris Layton.

But the band and music would forever change that night.

Layton remembers this conversation with Vaughan, “He said, ‘I’m going’ and I said ‘goin where?’ He said ‘I’m goin back to Chicago. They offered me a seat on one of the helicopters to go back’. I said ‘why are you leaving?’ Everybody was there; his brother, his sister-in-law, management, all this different family. And he said he was going to go back and call his girlfriend in New York, and I said, ‘They got phones all over the place,’ and he said, ‘I gotta…I gotta go…I’m going to go.'”

Then early the next morning, they got the news no one wanted to hear. “He said one of the helicopters, the one Stevie was on went down and there were no survivors. And I have no words to describe what that moment was like”, said Shannon.

The members of Double Trouble rarely talk about that night. The pain still makes it difficult.

2 Responses

  1. We thought he was ours forever.
    His music always will be, but he got called home.
    Godspeed SRV, you will always be missed.

  2. texas flood

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