Discover the joy of watching a guitarist hear Stevie Ray Vaughan for the first time

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@SeamusBellamy Spot! On! This was truly a wonderful thing!



I don’t remember the joy of hearing SRV for the first time, but I do remember the joy of seeing him play in 1986, supported by the Fabulous Thunderbirds. The encore started with a duet of “scuttle buttin’”, where SRV and brother Jimmy played on the one twin-neck strat. Holy shit, it was awesome.


The masturbatory guitar king of white-boy blues: The worst kind of blues.


SRV was truly a great blues guitarist, unfortunately he has also become the bane of a lot of blues musicians who have to deal with hordes of SRV-wannabes who play too loud and too flashy and have no subtlety.

I remember seeing one ad on craigslist for a guy starting a rootsy blues-based group, who specifically stated, in all caps, “NO, I’M NOT INTO STEVIE RAY VAUGHN.”

The man who launched a thousand “Blues Hammers.”

Don’t get me wrong, I respect SRV’s talent and like his playing, but unfortunately he inspired guitar-douches like Joe Bonamassa, in the same way John Fahey and Leo Kottke inspired a generation of syrupy new age fingerpickers.


Oh come on.


I love seeing him anticipate rifs at one point and then be surprised and delighted at other rifs.


Great music and great musicians cross cultural boundaries.

I remember the first time I heard Chinese pipa music, something unrelated to anything else I’d ever heard. It was otherworldly.

I guess I’m kind of annoyed that my introduction to the blues was ‘tainted’ by hearing Led Zeppelin and Cream as a kid, but I remember my reaction to hearing Skip James wasn’t much different than Thora Birch’s in “Ghost World.”


Suppose you hate Eric Johnson too, yes?

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Douchebags who piss on great musicians because they aren’t the “right” color are the bane of the Internet.


You’re wrong and you should feel terrible for what you’ve said. Did I mention that you’re wrong?


I never discovered SRV until after he was gone. Can’t believe I missed that, what a loss.

Cuban guitarist discovers SRV for the first time

I wanted the video to continue to SRV doing Pride and Joy and the Cuban discovering his eyebrows scorched off.


that’s like, your opinion, man.


SRV was a fucking gunslinger. Soft as kitten fur, as savage as a great white shark. I still shake my head in wonder at times when I hear him pull off some subtle shit in passing as if it was no big deal. The Cuban guy reacted this way several times.


It’s a real pity that B.B. King isn’t around so you could straighten him out. He and a lot of other masters like Albert King and John Lee Hooker, lacking your deep understanding of All Things Blues, somehow got the crazy idea that Stevie Ray was a great bluesman!

B.B. King:
“Stevie had many ways of showing you that he had not only talent, but he also had a feeling for playing the blues. He was good with it, his execution and his hands. He seemed to be flawless, the way he moved with it. I don’t think he was aware of how well he played. I’m pretty sure he never realized how well he played. A lot of us knew he was good then, but the impact never hit us really big until after we lost him.

Any time we played together it was exciting. At first, he would always pull punches a bit. So one night I told him, “Play your thing. Go ahead, don’t worry about me.” And he did. His ideas were limitless. He flowed. He was like water, constantly drippin’ with rhythm. It’s a loss not just to the music - it’s a loss to people as a whole. He was just such a nice man. I tell you the truth, it really hurts. The only thing that keeps me from crying is knowing the joy that he brought to us. I can see his smile right now, him sitting there with his Mexican hat on, going, “Hey, it’s all right.”

He was always quick to show gratitude to me and other artists who have been around. But when it came to playing the blues he earned plenty of respect himself.

The fact is that he affected the way blues will be played and heard forever. I’ve said that playing the blues is like having to be black twice. Stevie missed on both counts, but I never noticed.”


This was meta-great, or maybe meta-meta. It was great to hear SRV (anytime), it was great to see the Cuban guitarist enjoy it so much, and then the little child vocalizing in delight. Thanks, Seamus!

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“Soft as kitten fur, as savage as a great white shark”


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I felt exactly the same way when I was first exposed to soukous and zouk music (via a beret-wearing, pre-hipster hipster, zouk-head, Tower Records salesperson on ‘The Strip’ in LA many years ago).

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Well, the good news on that: you can no longer use craigslist to find masturbatory guitar kings.

I am a fan. I cried when he passed.

“Stevie never played anything the same way once.” - Jimmy Vaughan

He wasn’t just inspired by Albert King but was mentored by him.

And in appreciation of this, I’ve backed away from mentioning a blues guitar karaoke machine with a number of gold & platinum records to their name. But I mean, you all know who I’m talking about.

(Different performers popping into each reader’s head…)

Here’s another with Collins & SRV.