Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble
Interchords: The Sky Is Crying Stevie Ray Vaughan Interview Disc.

Transcription by Tony Wojnar

The back cover of the disc reads: "This is an interview with Jimmie Vaughan, along with Chris Layton and Tommy Shannon of Double Trouble, conducted by Dan Neer of Neer Perfect Productions. The excerpts contained here cover the making of The Sky Is Crying, as well as selected quotes highlighting the illustrious but too short career of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble. As an added bonus, Dan has included some quotes from an interview he did with Stevie Ray Vaughan."

1. Putting "The Sky Is Crying" together

Dan Neer: Now, was getting this record together a daunting task? I mean, did you have like truckloads of tapes to go through, to get it down to these ten songs?

Jimmie Vaughan: Uh, there was quite a bit of stuff! There was literally a van-full! There was a lot of tapes to go through.

DN: Did you, like, set up some ground rules for yourself?

JV: Uh, no, I just did it. I just listened, and listened, and listened. I had a lot of cassettes of the main stuff. And I would just, uh, I just went through and picked some songs and then had to go find 'em. And I was short, and then I'd have to go back, or I'd hear about some song, you know, that they did. I guess it was kind of like detective work.

DN: Yeah, kind of. And how long of a period did you start listening and going through? Was it a real long time?

JV: It was several months. I mean, I didn't not "nose to the grindstone," twenty four hours a day, but

DN: When you listen to The Sky is Crying it's obvious that this is really "primo" stuff, really good Stevie Ray. And I think that when a lot of folks heard that this CD was coming out they were concerned, you know, that we would be hearing outtakes, or just stuff that, you know, never should have come out and stuff. Did you have that on your mind?

JV: Well I wouldthat's what I was concerned about, too. I didn't want that to happen. And at first, when I started listening to all the stuff, I didn't know whether or notI didn't really know if there was even gonna BE a record, I mean, if there was enough suitable stuff for a studio record. 'Cause from MY experience with recording (I've put out a few albums), you usually put out the stuff that's good enough to put out. You put it out! You know, I don't know too many people that have a lot of great stuff just sittin' around, you know?

DN: Yeah, but

JV: I mean, I and he actually, I guess, you know, over the years, he just had extra stuff. I mean, everybody has extra stuff, but in your mind when you put a record out, it's not the "good" stuff, you know what I'm saying? You put the "good" stuff out.

DN: Right.

JV: You think

DN: Right. This is actually LOTS of "good" stuff on this particular

JV: But I just kept finding, you know, I'd find another one, and then, it just sort of fell together like that

2. Any Additional Production?

DN: How much additional production did you have to do, Jimmie?

JV: All I did was really mix it and say I think it needs to be more like "this". It needs more guitar or less guitar, or whatever, and clean the stuff up, and make it sound like a record, that's all. I mean, nothing reallyno big surgery or anything like that.

DN: Yeah

JV: 'Cause it was all pretty much here.

3. "The Sky Is Crying"

DN: Not only is this collection of songs a tribute to Stevie Ray, but it seems like it's a tribute to Stevie Ray's heroes. For example, let's take the title piece. Why don't you tell use about the people who originally did The Sky Is Crying, and how Stevie Ray felt about them?

JV: Well, The Sky Is Crying is really an Elmore James song. It's really a sort of a standard blues. It's a blues that pretty much every blues singer, you know, like all of our heroes and all of Stevie's heroes like Albert King, uh, anybody, Buddy Guy, B.B. King any of those guys has probably recorded or sung The Sky Is Crying

DN: Clapton did a version of it

JV: Clapton, uh, you name itI mean it's just one of the songs that you have to learn. If you don't know that, then you don't know your stuff, you know?

DN: Yeah.

JV: And it's a song that Stevie did all the way through his career, and recorded it a couple of times. But it was also a blues song, you know? A lot of times the record company, they don't want to hear, they don't want to hear eight blues, slow blues on the album. So that's my only reason to think why it wasn't on the record, because it was, it just didn't fit what the album was going to be at the time.

DN: I just think it's a tremendous, tremendous version of this song.

JV: To me this record is SCARY!

4. "Boot Hill"

DN: Boot Hill is a song that apparently he's done a bunch of times, right?

Tommy Shannon: Yeah. Been doing (it) for a long time.

DN: You want to talk about it?

TS: Sure! Yeah, it's one of those songs, you know, that were done live before, and Stevie was real hesitant about recording it because of the lyrics, you know. It's, uh

DN: It's a NASTY song!

TS: Yeah, it's a pretty nasty song, and you know he was trying to really put across a good message, so he had some trouble with that at first. But I think that Boot Hill is one of the best tracks that we've done. I really do! I think it's great!

DN: And he never included it on any particular album, even though it's been recorded a couple of times, right?

TS: Right.

DN: Just because of the message?

TS: Yeah.

DN: I guess this one here is from the In Step sessions, right?

TS: Yeah.

DN: Which, I guess, goes totally contrary to what that record was all about!

TS: Yeah, definitely!

Chris Layton: Yeah, at the time, he said, "Guys, it's a great track!" You know, it was just like one of those things where we went in and just "did it", it just came out just right. It had the right feel. And Stevie was really hedging on it, going, "Well, I don't know" He'd sing it, and he would like, really pick his vocal apart, for one little thing that I wouldn't see him NOT do on another song. I kept thinking, "Well, what is it? What's gettin' him about this song?" And then, you know, it just dawned on me, in the context of the record, it just was really out of place, lyrically. But then, once again, it was this song is not gonna make another record. And before it was maybe the performance isn't like we wanted itI think the addition of, at this time, with Reese in the band, that added that really nice other dimension to the song, having piano on it. It made a real nice, good, strong rhythm track. It was clearly in my mind the best one we had ever cut of it. I'm glad to see it on this record.

5. "Empty Arms"

DN: Now, how did Stevie wind up playing drums on the original version of Empty Arms that was released on Soul To Soul?

TS: Well, him and I went in early one day. You know, he's a good drummer, and we were just playin' around and we started playing it. So, we told Richard Mullins to turn on the machine, and he didn't want to do it at first. He thought it was the wrong version. But we ended up putting it down on tape. It sounded good. Even though it wasn't anything at all what we'd planned on doing, at first.

DN: Now, we happen to have the drummer on the version that appears on the CD (The Sky Is Crying) with us, as well -- Double Trouble's Chris Layton. Now, which onewhich version was recorded first? Was it the one with Stevie on drums, or

CS: No, the one that appears on The Sky Is Crying was the first version. And, um, like Tommy was just saying, that Richard didn't really want tohe was sitting in the control roomI mean, I wasn't there, but this is the story that he related to me. He went, "Yeah, Tommy and Stevie came in, and Stevie played drums, and he did this different version!" And he goes, "I don't know!" This was a more, like, "uptempo" version. It's kind of like, "up". And he said, "I think I like that better!" Stevie really liked beat, that (vocalizing a drum beat) "bop-boom, bop-boom, bop-boom". He thought it was a really funky sound, almost like a backwards shuffle. So he just wanted to try it, and he and Tommy did, and we all liked it.

DN: I got a questionwhich one do YOU like better, and why?

CS: I like Stevie's version better! (Lots of laughter!) I like the song, I like the way it came out better. But I like this one, too. It's almost a toss-up, but I think I like the version of Stevie playing better! (More laughter)

TS: It's hard to play that slow. It's real slow.

6. "Little Wing"

DN: This next song on the CD is the most amazing thing. I mean, his version of Hendrix's Little Wingwould you agree with that?

JV: Yeah, well, you know, everything KILLS me on this, and it's all got a different story, but this one seems particularly, "tender". This song reminds me of Stevie's tenderness, and friendliness and everything. How he could get quiet and understanding, if that makes sense, I don't know. He starts out, he does the Hendrix song, he does the intro, you know, pretty much like Hendrix, and then he goes off I don't know whether this is jazz, blues, orI don't know what this is, you know? I don't know what kind of music you would call this, 'cause it's got every one of those things in it. There's some really great, sensitive, guitar playing on here. It's like he's talkin'!

DN: Yeah! And you can hear the amp buzzin'.

JV: You can hear the amp buzzin', yeah. I thought this is a great song, and I thought, "Oh no! What am I gonna do about this? " I could see all the guys with their Sony Walkmans, you know, listening for all the pin drops going, "Oh no! This is a defective recording!" (Laughter) I can see the guy, "Oh no! What am I gonna do? I have to take it back!" (Laughter) But this is actually the amp buzzing. When you have your amps turned up real loud, to get "that tone", and you can back it off on the guitarbut if you're standing next to your amp, you have to turn a certain direction so that it doesn't buzz, because of the Fender pickups. That's why they invented humbucking pickups, so that it wouldn't buzz like that. But a Fender doesn't have that, so they probably do now. He probably turned around to change the tone, or do something like that. You hear it, "Rrrrr, rrrrrrrr," you know?

DN: Yeah. Yeah!

JV: So that's what it is, that effect.

7. "Wham"

DN: This next song, Wham, comes on like a house on fire. Now, tell us a little bit about Lonnie Mack, who wrote this song, Jimmie.

JV: I don't know, I guess when I was twelve or thirteen and first started playing, he was really hot. In the early sixties, he had "Chicken Pickin'" in the (plan???), he did "Memphis," he had all these instrumental, these great fabulous instrumental 45s out. They were in the house. I had 'em. If I didn't have 'em, Stevie had 'em. Every time he would come out with a new record, we'd go get it, and put it on 33 (rpm), to try to figure out what he was doing!

DN: Slow it down, huh?

JV: So this is really, uh, really roots

DN: It's really unusual. Lonnie played, like, a Flying V, didn't he?

JV: Yeah, oh yeah! He played a Flying V with a capo, just wild.

DN: I guess Stevie liked those guitar players with the Flying V, 'cause he liked Albert, too.

JV: Oh yeah!

DN: Well, this one is just amazing. He played it a lot, though, didn't he?

JV: Wham?

DN: Yeah.

JV: Oh yeah, I mean, every time that I would sit in with him we'd play this. I've seen him do it fifteen, twenty times. I've seen him do it at home, when we were kids, you know, we used to do this. It's a great tune!

8. "May I Have a Talk With You?"

DN: Howlin' Wolf -- now this is a guy that did some great ones, like "Spoonful," "I Ain't Superstitious," "Little Red Rooster," "Back Door Man" Was Stevie always in your record collection?

JV: Yeah, when we were kids we had this regular, small little room, with two little bunk beds, a Sears and Roebuck record player, or Montgomery Wards or whatever it was, and a stack of albums. I brought home, and I spent all my money on records. So I was always bringing home Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, or B.B. King, you know, something like that

DN: The "real stuff."

JV: We'd just play the stuff until it wouldn't play any more. I just played it over and over, and that was all that happened in that room, really. There wasn't much homework, you know, that kind of stuff going on in there. "May I Have a Talk With You" is Howlin' Wolf, and he's sort of just doing, uh, "OK, we're gonna do the Howlin' Wolf song." He couldn't think of the name of it. This is one that was off of an album that I used to have called, "Folk Festival of the Blues." It was on CheckernoArgo! It was on Argo label. It was a live album. It had Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, Howlin' Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson, Willie Dixon, and a whole bunch of guys playing at some club live in Chicago in 1962 or something like that. And this is one of the songs that Howlin' Wolf did, "May I Have A Talk With You." But, it's funnyone of the lines on this song is part of another song that Howlin' Wolf sang on the same record. So it's just from listening to this record, you know? See what the deal was, it was the same band, and each singer would come up on this record, so it was kind of confusing, as to who did what. And sometimes you'd get one verse mixed in with another one or something

DN: And that's what actually happened here, right?

JV: Yeah!

9. "Close To You"

DN: "Close To You" -- Willie Dixon, the way he writes lyrics! I mean, it's got that good sense of humor in it, and all those great lines, and stuff. And I think what Jimmie talks about this song it's Stevie as a singer. Do you have some comments about Stevie as a singer?

CL: I always thought that Stevie was kind of overlooked as a singer, for his guitar playing. He had such a great emotion to his singing, but people would not really comment that much on it, 'cause they were always, like, "stepping over" his vocal to get to his guitar playing. I think this song could have been written just for Stevie. Maybe years ago Willie said, "Stevie Ray Vaughan -- I think I'm gonna write a song for him!" 'cause it's, like, got that humor like Stevie had. I know that one thing he really liked about the song was that Muddy would do that kind of laugh in there, and that was like what "got him." Stevie could get drawn into a song for like one thing, one guitar lick, or one little characteristic in a vocal or something he'd just like, and he would fall in love with the song. Which was kind of neat, 'cause it was really kind of like, this like child-like way about him in that way. Just one little tiny thing that made it all beautiful.

10. "Chitlins Con Carne"

DN: "Chitlins Con Carne." (Laughter) This doesn't sound like a particularly appetizing dish! (Laughter)

TS: I had to go to Memphis and re-do the bass part on this, 'cause, uhwe did that during Soul To Soul, didn't we?

CL: Yeah, I think so (Laughter)

TS: We were kind of "out there" then, you know? And actually we cut part of the song out. There's probably another two or three minutes that was in there and we cut it out because it got real, real sloppy.

DN: Sloppy and spacey, maybe?

TS: Yeah, but uh, I don't really remember that much about it.

CL: I do remember this, that um this was before Tommy was in the band. We were probably the most (shot???) loose early on. It was like everybody lived in had a sax player that lived in Fort Worth, and the bass player lived up there We'd like have gigs that we'd all converge, and go play gigs Stevie might call up and say, "Oh, there's a gig tomorrow, we got a gig tomorrow!" Or he might call that day and say there's a gig tonight. A number of times everyone would say, "Aw, man!" Say it's like, too late, or even tell him, "You can't call me at eight o'clock and say we got a gig like in two hours!" that he came up with I remember a couple of times we'd end up playing that song, "Chitlins Con Carne" at a little place called the Aus-Tex Lounge, on South Congress. It'd be just Stevie and I. Just guitar and drums, and there'd be like maybe five people out there, sittin' in this little, it was like a bar, you know, a "lounge." Sittin' there playin' that I remember that one night, sittin' up there doing that. It's real vivid! There was like four people and we're like playin', just me and Stevie and they're goin', "Gawd, where's the rest of the band?" (Laughter)

11. "Life By The Drop"

DN: The last song on the CD shows yet another aspect of Stevie Ray Vaughan's playing. Tell us a little about "Life By The Drop," Jimmie.

JV: Well, uh, I don't really know much about this, except that Doyle Bramhall wrote it.

DN: Now Doyle goes back a long way with both you and Stevie, right?

JV: Yeah, right. I played with Doyle for years and years and years. He was the drummer in bands that I've been in, you know, back twenty years ago. One of my first bands I was in was with Doyle.

DN: Swingin' Pendulums, was it?

JV: Uh, no, after that! A band called The Chessmen. (Laughter)

DN: Ah, yes, The Chessmen!

JV: But anyway, Doyle ended up writing a lot of songs with Stevie. A lot of songs off of In Step actually off all these albums, I guess, the last three, I believe.

DN: Yeah. He co-wrote like, "Wall Of Denial," "Tightrope," "Change It," "The House Is Rocking," and on Family Style he co-wrote "Long Way From Home," and "Telephone Song," too.

JV: Right! So this is a song that Doyle wrote, and this "B. Logan," that's Doyle's wife, Barbara. Stevie never told me about this song, when he was doing In Step. So I don't really know much about it. It's just beautiful, though. I don't know the story, or anything like that. He liked it

DN: It seems

JV: He told them he didn't want to do it with the band. He wanted to do it by himself, 'cause it was personal. So everybody can make what they want out of it.

TS: It meant a lot to Stevie, that song did -- the lyrics, you know, he really liked Doyle's songs anyway. I think it came out real good, just doing it acoustic.

CL: It kind of brings, uhIn a way, you shouldn't even look at the lyrics. It kind of brings Stevie's life like full circle. In most of the song, between two people, it could also be the same two people in one man. I think it's a perfect song to end the record. That song was considered to be put on In Step, but it was just one of those things that it seemed too far out of character musically, more than anything. Lyrically, it was right. As it turned out I guess it's great that it's on this record and maybe wasn't on the last one.

12. Jimmie's favorite songs on The Sky Is Crying

DN: Now what would be your personal favorite? Could you pick one?

JV: On this whole record?

DN: Yeah.

JV: That's tough, because it's usually the one that's playing! I'm really close to all the stuff, and it was like, uh, all this stuff spoke to me and reminded me of when we were kids, or a certain tour we were on, or a certain thing that was happening, you know? So I get pictures when I hear it, you know?

DN: I think everybody does, to tell you the truth. Because, in one way or another, you know, whatever your memories are, you know, some of these really hit on them.

JV: It's funny that these songs were the one that were really left behind because they, to me, this record speaks to you. I mean, in a lot of ways, so I don't know. Everybody has to make their own I don't want to sound too far out or anything,,, it's really nice.

13. Any more Stevie Ray Vaughan material?

JV: Yeah, there'll be more. There's not like a lot of studio stuff of songs that have never been released. There's alternate takes, and there's, you know, like different versions. But this is pretty much the stuff that we haven't heard. You know what I mean?

DN: Yeah. Yeah, so there might be

JV: I'm gonna go, in sometime coming up , and work with the record company on the Stevie Ray Vaughan Box, the "ultimate" Stevie Ray Box. And there will be a lot of some goodies in there! But, there is live stuff

DN: Yeah, that's what I'd imagine I've heard tapes

JV: But there's not And there's some good, some really neat stuff, too. But this was it. I mean, to me, this was the "good stuff."

14. Stevie Ray Vaughan the perfectionist

DN: Was he a perfectionist? I mean, you would cut something that you guys would think was pretty "right there," you know, and then he'd pick something that you say well, boy, can most people hear that even?

TS: Yeah, yeah he was definitely like that.

CL: Yeah, he was a perfectionist. But in playing the music, it wasn't so much like it was a "technical" perfection thing. If it had the right feeling that he was looking for, or that we were looking for, then we were "there." Even if there was some mistakes or something, that didn't matter. Which was kind of a beautiful thing because then the real essence of the music was kind of coming out, not just to get this "technical" portrayal of something. But on the other hand, when it came to guitar sounds and whatnot, he was an absolute fanatic. He would site there for eight hours working on one particular tone. Or he might be there longer than that

TS: Two days, or three days sometimes

CL: Yeah, he could be well, like, saying this tube, the second tube, the second power tube I think is bad. Or, he's got all these amps chained together, and he's like, "This second cord's wrong, get me this different cord, gimme that cord." Or, "I need a different guitar." He would, like, sit there for hours and hours and hours, technically, trying to get his sound

DN: Or trying to get the right buzz on the amp (Laughter)

CL: Yeah, whatever it was, there wasn't anything real spontaneous there! I mean, it was like a real exact science in his mind. He had this method to the madness of getting just the right sound. But the music was: when it feels right, all things aside, we've got what we need.

15. How Stevie progressed as a guitarist

TS: First time we played together, he was about fifteen or sixteen. We played together in a band called Blackbird. Even then, and through Double Trouble it's like I never got "used to" playing with him. What I mean is, I never took it for granted. It's like he'd do stuff every night that would just blow me away! I'd stand over there and just couldn't believe it!

CL: He was always searching. He wasn't trying to get "better" technically, as a guitar playerI think he was always trying to distill what his guitar playing meant in the context of just playing good music. He was always searching for a way to make better music, more essential music. I know that he would say every so often that he would get kind of frustrated withsometimes he'd hear a tape and say, "God blessI'm playing all these notes, sounds like some machine gun or something!" And he didn't like it, 'cause he though at that point in time he was kind of like passing off, you know, doing this cheap music, when he would rather be playing something more essential. 'Cause, he could play real fast. When he wanted to get really ridiculous about it he could play as fast as anybody, you know, just to show me. "Hey, check this out!" And he'd play this really incredible stuff, and he'd say, "It doesn't sound like anything to me!" (Laughter)

16. First time they heard Stevie Ray Vaughan

TS: I heard Stevie when he was about fourteen years old. I'd just broken up with Johnny Winter, I'd been playing with Johnny Winter. I flew to Dallas. I was walking down the street. I was going to this club called The Fog. And, I heard this guitar player from outside, and I was going, "Who's that!?" It was incredible! And I went inside, and there was this little kid standing there looking up at all the big guys around him. You know, it was like I was the only one that would even talk to him back then. He was like a little punk to everybody else. I knew he was special. It's like it came right from his heart. There's no foolin' around there!

CL: I first met him inor actually, I first saw him in 1975. My roommate at the time was playing in a band with him and he said, "Yeah, why don't you come out and see us! The band's real good, and I think you'd really enjoy it." So I did. I went to a place called Soap Creek Saloon, in Austin, and I walked in and I couldn't believe it! This guy was likeI thought this guy was like a human diamond, or something. He had this "power." It's like when he played, it was almost like he "was" the music. I felt that way about him until the very end. It was like, the night that he died, we did the show up in Wisconsin, he played guitar that night and it was like the band never sounded better. Later on, when he jammed with Eric Clapton, the first note that he played, it was like it covered the entire band and the whole audience. It was like this thing, like this energy that he had, that I had never really felt from anybody else. And I'm talking about the standpoint of playing with him.

17. Beginnings of Double Trouble

CL: It was Triple Threat Revue was together, and at that time the band was just transforming. I think he had some personnel problems. I approached him and said, "Hey man, we can do some great things together." I could see that obviously that the band I didn't think was really gonna go anywhere. There was a serious problem, and I thought that I could help cure that.

TS: I was playingI was living in Houston, and playing around there. I went in Rockefellers on night, and they were playing. It was like a revelation, that's where I want to be, right there, that's where I belong. And I just went up and told Stevie that, you know, "I want to play with you." And I kept bugging him, you know? I guess about a month later, he finally gave me a call. But it's strange -- I knew exactly what I wanted to do there. And I really felt like that's where I belonged.

18. Montreaux Jazz Festival

CL: It was definitely the most "eventful" thing that we had ever done, you know, far away. I'd never travelled abroad, myself. It's like all of the sudden I'm going to Switzerland, oh, great! This ought to be a lot of fun! After our show we went downstairs into the basement, into the musicians' lounge, which is where everybody went after they played, and drank or whatever. So, uh

TS: That's where we met Jackson Browne.

CL: Yeah. I thought a lot of this was too good to be true. And you know, let me correct something. It was actually the next night that we played there. It wasn't the night after we played. The next night we were in Montreaux with nothing to do. We could go to the festival. The manager said, "Well look, I can book y'all in the musicians' lounge, you know, downstairs. Y'all want to go down there an play? There's no money in it but I thought maybe you might like to play." Yeah, sure! You know, we were jazzed! So that's when we did that, and it was after Jackson's show that night he came down with the whole band and we all got up and jammed until after daybreak. That might have been the longest I ever played in one sitting.

TS: Yeah! There was like one break the whole night. It went all night.

CS: Yeah, we stopped for like twenty minutes, and then got back up and just played and played.

19. David Bowie tour Ray Vaughan

CL: I think what it really boiled down to is that our record was in the can, Texas Flood, and Stevie played on the Bowie record, and then there was the offer for the world tour. I guess it was our understanding that this band would open Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble would open for Bowie on this tour, and that Stevie would then play guitar with him in his show. I guess some wires got crossed, and that never really happened, or wasn't going to happen. I think it was just at a point in time Stevie had to make a decision whether or not he was gonna pursue his own career from the very start, with this record as the lead-off, or abandon that path and go play guitar with someone for the notoriety of money or whatever. And, this won out. It was something he had wanted to do all his life. It was like, there we were! You know, the band was there, the record was there, and it was like he just followed his heart, "This is what I've got to do. This is what I've been working for, so I'm gonna go do it!"

TS: Yes. That's one thing I think Stevie really showed his character. Everybody had talked him into going ahead and doing the David Bowie tour. But when it came down to the last minute, he couldn't go against what he believed in.

CL: He really struggled with it. People would say, just forget about the band for a year, eighteen months, however long the tour lasts. You can always go back and pick them up later. This will do great things for your career. You'll be a big star! Everybody in the world will know who you are! And then you could just pick right back up. In his heart, I think his heart just said no, this is what I want to do, and I'll do it now.

TS: Yeah, it turned out to be the right decision, too, 'cause Texas Flood did real good.

CL: I think for a time he was known as the "guitar player that DIDN'T play with David Bowie," as opposed to the one that did!

20. The Fire and Fury tour with Jeff Beck

CL: It was fun! We had a hard time getting it off the ground, trying to figure out how we're gonna bill it, and who's gonna play first, who's gonna play last, you know The managers were going, " Who's really more important?" "Well, he's new and fresh." "He's old, and he's established; he's a legend." "Well, he's a legend, too!" "But he's not more of a legend than my guy!" But it worked out real good. It ended up being a great tour! A lot of good music was played on that tour.

TS: Yeah, everybody got along real good.

21. Stevie Ray's death

TS: That's one of the things that really comforts me about it, you know? It's when Stevie went, he was clean and sober. He had his life put together. He was happy. He had grown spiritually a long way. It's real comforting to know that he went like that. And I love him, and I'll always miss him!

Stevie Ray Vaughan

22. Learned guitar from brother Jimmie

SRV: He definitely got me started, and then somewhere along the line, showed me that I was supposed to learn, myself! (Laughs) I'm glad he did! He's probably my biggest influence, for many reasons. Mainly because when he first started, I watched him, I watched him a LOT. It was so easy for him to learn and pick up what he picked up, that it just didn't seem that it could be hard.

23. On Hendrix

SRV: I just thought he was the greatest thang I'd ever seen! I never got to see him live, but, there's a whole lot about his life, you know I was influenced by his music, his style, his attitude, what he was looking for, or at least my interpretation of what he was looking for, which was growing from the inside out. Another thing that really struck me hard was a lot of the same influences that I had musically were his influences as well. That's probably what made it a little easier for me to pick up some of the thangs that he plays. Some of the distance that people put between playing music and playing Hendrix's music is kind of strange to me. Why isn't it just as accessible as Chuck Berry, or B.B. King, or Albert King, or Bo Diddley. Granted -- it's hard to play! (Laughs) And, there's a lot to it. There's a lot to understanding what he's doing. I don't even begin to know how he did some of the things he did. But that doesn't mean I shouldn't try!

24. "The Blues"

SRV: Let us hope that the music is taken seriously, you know? That doesn't mean it can't be fun, but it doesn't mean it can just be skimmed over and called "the blues" because it's got three chords, and it's in so-and-so key, and it's the speed, you know? (Laughs) There's too many thangs going on in life that are hard to deal with, or hard to look at. That's what the blues is about. It's about, as far as I can tell, it's a way to tell somebody what's going on, and by doing that, either whoever is listening to it can relate to what you're saying, because it's the same thang that's happening to them, and as a result they feel better. Or it's worse than what they're going through, so they go, "Whew!" and feel better. Or it's not quite as bad, and then go, "Well, this is WORSE, but at least somebody understands!" and feel better. And then there's the happy side of life, you know, when that part's over! And that's blues, too, you know, because you grew from it!