Blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan started playing guitar when he was 8 years old, inspired by his brother Jimmie. Jimmie showed him some chords after which Stevie taught himself to play. He played by ear and never learned to read notes. It soon went to show that he was very talented and he started playing in local bands.
His first band as a leader was formed in 1976 and it was called Triple Threat Revue, later renamed to Double Trouble. Stevie Ray Vaughan's international career started after David Bowie saw him playing at the Montreux Blues Festival. David Bowie asked Stevie to play on his new CD Let's Dance. At the same concert he was noticed by Jackson Brown, who offered Stevie his recording studio where Double Trouble's first album Texas Flood (1983) was recorded.
Stevie Ray Vaughan had a drug and alcohol addiction, which led to a breakdown in 1986. He conquered his two addictions in a rehabilitation center later that year and became a teetotaler.
In 1989 Stevie Ray Vaughan won a Grammy Award with his album In Step.
He died on August 27, 1990 in a helicopter crash, 35 years old. That night he had played at the Alpine Valley Festival together with people like Robert Cray, Buddy Guy and Eric Clapton. The pilot made an error, flying the helicopter into a hill. Eric Clapton and Jimmie Ray Vaughan were called to identify the body. Just the night before, Stevie had had a dream about his own funeral.
Recommended listening: The Sky Is Crying
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