Once upon a time and a long time ago, my friends and I packed into a cab and headed off to Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium. We were young and we heard about this new guy that played guitar and it was, like, old stuff but it sounded new. They said he played like Jimi Hendrix and that was enough to motivate us to go over the hill and check this dude out. I remember we had a half pint of some liquor between the three of us. That was enough. We got there and people were all milling about and chatting with their friends as warm up songs echoed through the PA system. The smell of weed wafted about the inside of what seemed like a High School gymnasium. The sound people tested the drums and the microphones with the routine test, test, test, 1-2-3, boom boom boom of the kick bass. Each time this occurred my friend Dennis would hoot and holler. The testing stopped upon the satisfaction of the sound technicians. Then the lights dimmed. On the stage appeared a slight skinny guy with a cowboy hat and two other dudes, one with a bass the other behind the drums. Then, boom and the band started it up and blasted the crowd with a rendition of Rude Mood. At the end of the song Stevie graciously introduced himself and the band, "Good Evening Ladies and Gentlemen, I'm Stevie Ray Vaughan and we are Double Trouble."
I didn't know that my life would be dramatically changed at that moment. Who has the ability to realize in the moment what life in real time will effect or morph you in the future? I certainly just loved watching and hearing this man and his band pummel their instruments and our senses with sonic delight. To this day, I still see Stevie in my minds eye. I still remember the that night, Monday, August 4th in 1986 like it was yesterday. Double trouble and Stevie Ray did it. The worm turned. From that day forth, every note I played had to be played like I meant it, like it was my last note I would ever play because this is how Stevie played and nobody that saw the same show would dare to pose an opposing argument.
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