Fender Concert Series: Tony Houston from Ohio
As part of our Fender Concert Series, we invited readers of Fender News to tell us about their first, best, worst or just overall most memorable ever concert. We appreciate the response we’ve gotten so far (keep ’em coming), and have chosen to feature the following entry from Tony Houston of Dayton, Ohio:
I’m a native of Dayton, Ohio, where Gilly’s is located. Owner Jerry Gillotti has always booked blues along with jazz acts. The Fabulous Thunderbirds played Gilly’s a couple of times in the early ‘80s, and Jimmie Vaughan had told me how good his little brother, Stevie Ray was on guitar.
I’m a big David Bowie fan, Bowie did the Cat People soundtrack, and when I saw the movie I heard this amazing guitar on one of the songs. Then Bowie released the Let’s Dance album with Stevie Ray Vaughan on guitar. This blew my mind.
A couple of weeks later on Shakin’ Dave Hussong’s Hall of Fame radio on NPR WYSO, he played “Floodin’ Down In Texas.” I was so stunned by the song that I pulled over on the highway to make sure that I could hear who the band was on that song.
Then Dave announced that it was SRV & Double Trouble, and that they were coming to Gilly’s on 7/31/83. I immediately drove down to Gilly’s to see if Jerry was there.
He was just going into the club as I caught up with him and asked if I could buy tickets for the show. The tickets haven’t even been printed yet, but Jerry knew me and held four tickets for me.
The night of the show I was about 20 feet from Stevie, and he just smoked. He started out with “Testify” and after a couple more songs, charged into “Voodoo Chile (Slight Return).” My mind was blown, again. I never got the chance to see Jimi Hendrix, but I felt I did after experiencing Stevie Ray Vaughan’s version.
He broke a pick that night, and it landed close to me; I got it off the floor. Later after the encore, Stevie walked by me and winked. I’ve never forgotten that night, and the three friends I took still talk about that show.
I still miss him, he was a complete master of the guitar, and played his heart out, each and every time I saw him.
The Primetime Blues Band
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