Stevie Ray and the Grammies

I have to admit that I wasn’t very excited about visiting the Grammy museum in Los Angeles. But since it was my daughter’s 16th birthday, off we went. As often happens in life, there was more to it than I expected.

I found an exhibit of Stevie Ray Vaughan items on the third floor, between exhibits for Tupac Shakur and Donna Summer. Seeing the guitars he played, and personal items like a handwritten note or a hat he wore onstage, was a fascinating experience.

The 25th anniversary of his death is coming up this summer, and I hope something is being planned to commemorate it. As the exhibit said, nobody’s been able to fill the void since he left us.

The best experience, though, was putting on a pair of headphones and listening to Texas Flood live. There were teenagers flittering about, and a few others stopped to look at the display, but there I was, a middle-aged man in full air guitar mode. The music was spectacular, and I was thrilled to be able to be immersed in it for a few moments.

It took a long time before I could appreciate the role of the blues in birthing rock and roll. Stevie Ray Vaughan put that linkage front and center in his music, and we’re all better off for it. I humbly offer my thanks to him, and those who inspired him, and the Grammy people for mounting the exhibit, and to my daughter–my Pride and Joy–for suggesting we go in the first place.


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