Today is the 21st anniversary of the death of Stevie Ray Vaughan. Have I mentioned my adoration of him before? No? Oh how I love him. He disappears when he plays and channels something otherworldly. He so loved playing that his ex-wife used to say that she'd be wakened by him playing in his sleep. His guitar lights up my joy even when the song is a sad one. I especially love his cover of Hendrix's "Little Wing." According to Wikipedia there are approximately 26 covers of it but only one was a Grammy winner.
This is one of those songs that you remember where you were and what you were doing the first time you heard it. For me I was in the Mecca on Queen Anne in Seattle having lunch with my friend Justin (Justin loved SRV as much as me; for my birthday that year he painted his portrait for me). The Mecca is pretty loud but the place went as silent as I ever heard it for almost seven minutes. It was gorgeous. It sounded how soaring free must feel. Everytime I hear it now I get a mental image of Vauhgan standing on a pier flinging it out over Puget Sound. Another friend always pictures him playing it on the floor of a canyon (the fact that she heard it while driving through Arizona probably contributes to this) with the sound sweeping up the walls. If the rest of us could do whatever it is we do with even an ounce of his passion, imagine what we could accomplish.
Thanks, SRV, for sharing your big beautiful soul with the rest of us.