Vaughan received numerous accolades as a player and was featured in many magazine articles, especially those having to do with the guitar. His young life ended in a twist of fate that hearkens back to Buddy Hollies story,
Vaughan begged for the last seat on a helicopter that was transferring the performers back to Chicago. His older brother Jimmie and Jimmie’s wife made reservation to be flown back after a concert both brothers had played with Eric Clapton.
There were three seats reserved for Stevie and his family, but three members of Clapton’s crew had taken the seats, leaving only one remaining seat. Jimmie and wife took the next copter. The night was foggy and the dew was building up. Apparently the visibility was bad.
The pilot guided the helicopter over a golf course at low altitude. He somehow crashed into a 300 foot high ski slope.
Stevie Ray Vaughan grew up in Dallas Texas. His older brother Jimmy Vaughan was his inspiration. Stevie Ray was born to play the blues.
After hiring drummer Chris Layton and bass player Tommy Shannon, Stevie changed the group’s name to Double Trouble. He played with them until the end.
In 1982 he gained fame when he performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival. A year later he released the album Texas Flood, which sold over a half a million copies.
He linked amplifiers together to make his sound big. At times he employed a rotating speaker.
|Number One Through the Years|
The body was alder and the neck was maple, but it came with a pau ferro fretboard. The standard strings are .010 - .046 light gauge models. Stevie Ray Vaughan generally used medium gauge strings that were .013 - .058. It is rumored that at one point in his career he was using .018 - .072 gauge strings. The guitar was finished on schedule and it was one of Fender’s more popular models.
In 1989, Stevie Ray Vaughan made a few modifications by putting a “SRV” sticker on the pickguard and installing a left-handed neck. This guitar was named “Red.”
|Note the white knobs|
This is a 1961 Fender Stratocaster with butterscotch finished. His guitar tech, Rene Martinez, added a tiger striped pickguard that resembled one that Buddy Guy had on one of his guitars. Except for the pickguard and the SRV sticker it was stock. It was known as Scotch.
|SRV with Lenny|
Perhaps one of the more touching stories in Vaughan’s life regarded a 1963-64 Stratocaster that was a gift to Stevie Ray from his wife, Lenora. Stevie Ray was 26 years old and still standing in the shadow of his big brother Jimmy Vaughan. Stevie Ray met Lenora at a Halloween party when he was playing at a club. There was a brief courtship, they both had fallen hard for each other and were soon married. At the time he was playing with the Triple Threat band.
|Jimmie,daughter, Big Jim, SRV and Lenora|
Lenora saw how much that Stevie wanted that guitar, but since they were poor and the price was $350, they could not afford it.
|Stevie Ray and Lenora|
Lenora got in touch with seven people that had agreed to each chip in $50 for a birthday present to Stevie Ray. He was presented with this gift at a birthday party, given in his honor at an Austin Texas nightclub called Steamboat Springs. He took the guitar home that night and within a matter of hours he woke her up and sat on the side of their bed.
Then he asked her to listen to a new song that he wrote (on this guitar) called Lenny, his pet name for her. She states, “It was beautiful, how can you ever stop loving something like that. I’ve never once in my life listened that that song without crying.” Sometime later he received a Charvel neck with a maple fretboard from his friend Billy Gibbons. He installed the neck on Lenny. He also etched his name into the guitar’s neck plate as a point of pride.
Stevie Ray Vaughan played a Guild JF6512 on MTV Unplugged and on a song called Life By The Drop.
Blackface Fender Vibroverb amplifiers, one of which had a 15” speaker and the other had the stock twin 10” speakers. These amps were both rated at 40 watts.
|1964 Fender Vibroverb|
|SRV's Tube Screamer|
a Fender Vibratone, which is a standalone revolving speaker unit that Fender produced for a while. He also utilized a Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face, Roger Mayer Octavia pedal and several Vox Wah pedals.