Wednesday, August 26, 2015

"Stevie Ray Vaughan's legend lives on 25 years after death"

From JSOnline:

Sony Music

 35 years old, newly sober and on the cusp of real stardom, died in a helicopter crash after performing at Alpine Valley on Aug. 27, 1990.


"Crash after Alpine Valley show killed influential electric guitarist"

"Before the last song of the last show of a two-night stand at Alpine Valley Music Theatre, 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 — 25 years ago Thursday — 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.

"Plane crashes have claimed other pop and rock stars: Otis Redding, Jim Croce, Rick Nelson, Ronnie Van Zant, Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens. But in the world of blues generally and electric guitar specifically, the East Troy crash is a singular tragedy that resonates to this day.

"'After he cleaned himself up, by 1990, he was back to playing guitar in a ferocious way. The tour with Eric Clapton, those shows are legendary,' said Jason Hanley, senior director of education for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. '... Who knows what he would have done next.

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