Just working..listening to some favored blues over here and thought I’d share some Stevie Ray Vaughn. I love his music. I was there the night he died in East Troy, WI at the Alpine Valley Amphitheatre. It was an awesome concert with a tragic ending.
Stevie Ray Vaughn Tribute – Life by the Drop
On August 25, 1990, Vaughan and Double Trouble finished up the summer leg of the tour with shows at Alpine Valley Music Theatre, just outside of East Troy, Wisconsin. The show also featured Robert Cray and his Memphis Horns along with Eric Clapton’s set. Alex Hodges, Double Trouble’s tour manager, arranged flight by helicopter with Omni Flights.
The next morning on August 26, 1990, Vaughan had what was described as a “horrible” nightmare. He dreamt that he was at his own funeral and saw thousands of mourners. He felt “terrified, yet almost peaceful”. He shared this story with his bandmates and some trusted crew members. The band played that night, as bass player Tommy Shannon hopped a helicopter already back to Chicago.
Eric Clapton played his set next. At the end of the show, as fog settled over the audience in the arena, Clapton introduced Buddy Guy, Stevie Ray, Robert Cray, and Jimmie Vaughan. The musicians chose the appropriate titled “Sweet Home Chicago”, a blues classic written by Robert Johnson.
After the 15-minute jam, the lights went up and the musicians went backstage to trade compliments. Clapton and Vaughan talked about future dates in London to pay a tribute to Jimi Hendrix.
Double Trouble drummer, Chris Layton, recalls his last conversation with Vaughan backstage. He then remembers Vaughan saying he had to call his girlfriend, Janna Lapidus, back in Chicago. He headed out the door to the helicopters.
The musicians expected a long bus ride back to Chicago. Vaughan was informed by a member of Clapton’s crew that three seats were open on one of the helicopters returning to Chicago with Clapton’s crew, enough for Vaughan, Jimmie Vaughan, and Jimmie Vaughan’s wife Connie. It turned out there was only one seat left, which Stevie Ray Vaughan requested from his brother, who obliged. Stevie strapped himself next to Clapton’s crew. It was 12:44 am. Pilot Jeffrey Browne guided the copter off the ground as the lights flashed below. Seconds later, the pilot banked the copter into a 300-foot high hill with the twisted metal scattered over an area of 200 square feet. All on board were killed instantly. No one realized that the crash had occurred until the helicopter failed to arrive in Chicago, and the wreckage was only found with the help of its locator beacon. The main cause of the crash was believed to be pilot error. Chris Layton, Jimmie and his wife were waiting for their copter so they could leave. However they hadn’t found out about the news until they returned to the motel in Chicago. The next morning Stevie Ray Vaughan’s brother Jimmie and good friend Eric Clapton were called to identify the bodies.