History

Greatest Dallasites: Stevie Ray Vaughan (No. 7)

The Oak Cliff native made an outsized mark on music.

I don’t know if the band even had a name yet. It was just kind of forming. This would have been in probably 1966, around there. Stevie had somebody bring him over to where we practiced. He must have been 13 or 14, and he couldn’t drive. He plugs in and asks, “Well, what do you guys want to do?”

I said, “Do you know any Beatles?”

“No.”

“Do you know any Rolling Stones?”

“No, not really.”

“How about Yardbirds? Do you know anything by them?”

“No, I don’t.”

“Animals? Kinks?”

“No.”

I said, “Well, what do you want to do, then?” He said, “How about we do a blues shuffle?”

We start, and it was obvious, right away, that he was far more advanced in his realm than we were in ours. I don’t know if he was really polished yet, but he had an amazing feel for the instrument—the same kind of feel that I saw him have through the years, where you couldn’t figure out how he was getting his guitar to do that.

After that, he wants to do another blues number, a slow one. I think, “Oh, God, man.”  But we do it. Once again, we were just absolutely blown away. We couldn’t keep up.

We finish, and I ask if he knows anything else. He says, “Well, I don’t know, I’m kind of into the blues.” We weren’t a blues band and didn’t want to be. I got up and walked over to the door and stuck my head out and said, “Okay, who’s next?”

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