Great Moments in TV Music History: Stevie Ray Vaughan on MTV
Those of a certain age remember back when television options were limited; it was always a treat to see live music pouring out of the TV. At first, there were lots of lip-sync shows such as Where the Action Is, and Shindig and Hullabaloo! seemed like a mixture of live and lip-synced performances.
By 1967-1968, there were more opportunities for real live music from artists who were changing the face of music, such as The Smothers Brothers Show and The Dick Cavett Show as well as the various late-night programs.
Special performances are the ones that grabbed you by the lapels and wouldn’t let you go; they are burned forever into the brain.
We didn’t have cable in 1983, but we had heard all about MTV, back when they really had M on the TV. We had gone to visit friends and had achieved a euphoric state while watching this new MTV phenomenon. All of a sudden, here was this cat Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble singing “Love Struck Baby.” I wasn’t sure if my head or my heart would explode first. Completely blown away.
Here was, to my mind, the most incendiary melding of blues and rock. I was and am a huge fan of the original Fleetwood Mac and Savoy Brown and John Mayall and other blues-rock bands, but this song kicked it up a level, danceable and riveting.
I rushed out to buy Texas Flood and wore the grooves of (in those good old days of vinyl). He was coming to a tiny club in Clearwater called Mr. T’s November 3, 1983, and I went there. The show was sold out, but a friend came outside, and we did that hand-stamp transfer thing that got me in the door. The show was electrifying. I was blessed to see SRV five more times, the last during that co-headlining tour with Jeff Beck before his tragic demise.
Good old MTV. May your memory be a blessing. Likewise for Mr. Stevie Ray Vaughan.