Remembering Stevie Ray Vaughn



Yesterday marked the 25th anniversary of the death of guitar legend Stevie Ray Vaughan. Recently inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with his band, Double Trouble, Vaughan gained notoriety in the ‘80s for ushering in a blues resurrection with original classics like “Pride and Joy” and “The Sky is Crying.” His white-knuckled solo on David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” also exposed his talents to the world of pop, though Vaughan was traditionally trained by mentor—and blues legend in his own right—Albert King. The two first jammed together in 1977 at Antone’s club in Austin, Texas, and things famously took off from there.

Vaughan had just played with Eric Clapton at Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, Wisconsin on August 27, 1990 when he boarded a helicopter headed for Chicago. Three members of Clapton’s entourage and Vaughan were killed instantly when the plane crashed in the early morning. His career was on fire at the time of his unfortunate death—ablaze with consistent touring, a new fiancée, and steady sobriety after years of struggling with substance abuse. Though he was taken from the world fartoo soon, Vaughan’s influence continues to be felt in blues and rock music, inspiring the likes of John Mayer, Gary Clark, Jr., and many other modern guitarists.

Check out this chilling recording of a Robert Johnson blues standard, Vaughan’s last performance at Alpine, performed over 25 years ago today:

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.