My favorite all-time track is Tin Pan Alley (Couldn't Stand the Weather album). There's nothing like turning that way up on a good hi-fi and hearing the springs in his Strat squeak while he bleeds all over the track.
SRV and Randy are my two favorite lost guitarists. I wish they were here.
I was 9 and hadn't even picked up a guitar when he died, so for me there's never been a time, culturally, when he WAS alive. He's always been this lost genius to me with a tragic story, and not a tragedy I lived for.
But, the fact he died in a freak helicopter crash only like a year after he'd gotten his life straightened around and was arguably in the best playing shape of his life (I don't like his later albums as much, but "The Sky Is Crying" I think shows he was still a spectacular blues player) has always just struck me as one of the bitterest musical stories I've ever heard. Hundreds of guys are brought down by addiction. Stevie Ray Vaughan survived his, only to die by freak chance. :/
I'm starting to paint my room tonight - I know what I'll be listening to as I do.
Bill Maher made a great point about it, why the performers who die so far before their time leave the longest-lasting positive impressions. If SRV were here today, We'd probably be tired of him. Hendrix and Randy, too. They came into life, and with their death made a lasting indelible mark on music and the lives of everyone they'd touched. My old guitar teacher may have put it best.
"Guys like Hendrix, man! I think what it is is that there are some people who are so full of talent and potential that their bodies can't take it, and they go off like an A-bomb, the carbon shadows reminding everyone who sees them what they did before they left."
SRV, the fucking man.
I was way too young to have experienced his stuff when he was alive (I'm only 21), but you can be damn sure he has influenced my playing.
He knew how to caress the strings gently and could also brutally rape those damn things too.
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