Zac, Hopkins with Stevie Ray guitar, and Tim


New EarBurner Podcast: Craig Hopkins, Stevie Ray Vaughan Historian

Let's jam.

Little Stevie Ray Vaughan couldn’t stay out of the clubs. He started around the time he was 12, legend has it, sneaking off from his home in Oak Cliff at night, usually clutching a guitar owned by his brother, Jimmie. This got old fast for Jimmie, who was a few years older and had already found some success. To get him to quit stealing his guitars, the older brother gifted Stevie a ’51 Fender Norcaster that he’d taken into shop class and sanded down to remove the gleam. He’d carved his nickname into it: Jimbo.

And yesterday afternoon, Jimbo was in the Old Monk with representatives from Dallas Heritage Auctions and Craig Hopkins, a Stevie Ray biographer and the literal leader of his fan club. When it goes to auction on April 15, it will be just the second time that a guitar regularly played onstage by Stevie Ray Vaughan will be available for purchase. The last one sold in 2004 for more than $600,000, as part of an Eric Clapton benefit.

Hopkins was this week’s guest on EarBurner. Come for the tales of how Dallas has still yet to embrace its (arguably) most famous musician, stay for the rare recording of Stevie Ray playing Jimbo around the ripe young age of 15. Show notes after the jump.

1. Here, you can find Craig’s Stevie Ray Vaughan fan site.

2. And here is a fine background of Austin’s Stevie Ray statue, courtesy The Austin American Statesman. 

3. And here are some details about what you can find in Kiest Park, courtesy The Advocate. 

4. Some footage from Stevie’s funeral: 

5. Here is a show poster from a time that Stevie Ray Vaughan played The Bandshell at Fair Park. “I stood there mesmerized, staring at his fingers,” Craig remembers.

6. This is a fun one—a story about the Tony Curtis cutout from the original Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, which Craig says he snapped up.

7. This is why Tim is sold on the idea that Kelcy Warren is going to buy Jimbo.

8. The End of Cole, the club where Stevie climbed onstage with Jimbo, was apparently Dallas’ major psychedelic club in the late 60s. I found that factoid on this Geocities-era website, so it must be true.

9. Even after hearing it kick off dozens of episodes of Eastbound and Down, this Freddie King song still jams:

10. And, finally, a story about the time Mike Rhyner of the Ticket snubbed a 12-year-old Stevie Ray, who just may have been carrying ol’ Jimbo.


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  • Chris Ullom

    Tim and Zac have the best job in Dallas.

    • You know what? On some days, that might be true.