Why The Stevie Ray Vaughan And David Bowie Tour Never Happened
Stevie Ray Vaughan at the Lone Star Cafe, 1985 - SRV on MV / Youtube
David Bowie was an advanced-thinking man. Right from the start of his career, he knew he is too powerful and creative just to lie down and drown himself in mediocrity. And following the height of his career in the 70s, Bowie loved to control his own artistry and would prefer to find something so useful. Enter, Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Stevie, at this point, was a promising musician inside his band Double Trouble. Finding new opportunities to get out of the shadows of his brother Jimmy, Stevie went on to find success at the nightclubs playing blues rock, something that he’s about to be well-known for.
The buzz of Stevie’s greatness as a blues guitarist spread like wildfire and the news arrived at Bowie, who was looking for someone to help him mold the sound of his Let’s Dance (1983) album. When Vaughan was invited, he didn’t like it at first, yet, he eventually conceded upon knowing Bowie’s real personality. Let’s Dance became an instant hit and a classic for Bowie, and Stevie is partly responsible for that.
There came another invitation for David Bowie’s tour. Vaughan agreed once more with the promise that Double Trouble would be the opening act for every show. The following months were filled with pure turmoil: Bowie’s bandleader, Carlos Alomar, didn’t like the way Stevie plays, and would always get him into different sorts of trouble. When Stevie brought in his wife Lenora Vaughan who uses cocaine, Alomar complained about it to Bowie, who eventually kicked Lenora out, a move that angered the guitarist so much.
Another valid reason for Stevie to quit inside the David Bowie tour was the pay rate of the guitarist. It was said that Vaughan will receive 300 dollars per night, a rate so low considering how well Vaughan gets from playing inside clubs. So, Vaughan’s manager settled this contract dispute with Bowie’s manager, and after that, they decided to just quit.
Yet, in an interview with Stevie Ray Vaughan from a New Zealand TV program, he mentioned that it was something about Bowie’s hollow promise that the Double Trouble will open for his show. It didn’t happen for real, so Vaughan decided to call it quits.
But whatever the reasons were, we all know for sure that Stevie and David were never meant to share the stage all along, for the reason that these two large entities would eventually cause chaos. Each one of them is a respective artist of their own right, never meant to share something that would insult one another. And even though that Bowie-Vaughan tour never happened for real, we are still blessed to have these two legends create something bigger than what’s expected.