Unfortunately I didn't really discover Stevie Ray Vaughn (SRV) until after his death. He died on August 20, 1990 in an airplane accident. Back then I was into Van Halen, Racer X, Rush, Nugent, etc.. I remember being sad that SRV had died but I didn't realize what a loss it was until much later. In fact I didn't really discover him until about 1996.
Once I did realize his talent and ability, I devoured as much as possible. He had such technique and then to find out that he played a heavy set of strings (.011 High E) that really killed me. I ended up getting a Stratocaster to embark on a blues period. Early on, I found that I couldn't leave the metal players but I would listen to SRV often. I can remember when I finally figured out Riviera Paradise, I played it for hours, just by myself - it is so beautiful.
Songs like 'Willey the Wimp' crack me up and hits like, 'Pride and Joy', 'Cold Shot' and 'Couldn't Stand the Weather' are wonderful.
So I struggled with his technique and style, his licks and his strength. I even went as far as to load .011s on my two main guitars. The strat was ok with that but the Kramer didn't like that at all.
I really wanted to play like him, the hammer ons and pull offs, his picking speed, etc. THEN I found out about his TONE!!
I never gave tone much thought (I was such a dope about it) but when I really listened to his playing with the clean, yet searing leads, the neck pickup 'voice' and that overdriven but not trashed bridge pickup screams, I realized that was an entirely new world.
I really have to give SRV my full respect and love as a player and artist. He made great guitar look and sound easy and he made tremendous music that stands the test of time.
God Bless you Stevie.......