THE SRV FAN CLUB TOUR 2000
Another great time in Texas for 55 folks from all over the USA, Canada, The Netherlands, Sweden, Argentina, Wales, Denmark and Australia! Of course the main highlight is always the new friendships made over the weekend, but here is a short synopsis of Tour 2000:
Thursday, October 19: Informal gathering at a Dallas hotel banquet room for meeting new folks, catching up with friends since the last tour, sharing SRV stories and jamming. Our very special guest tonight was Stevie's Uncle Joe Cook who recounted stories of Stevie and Jimmie growing up, etc. I displayed a small part of my collection, including the serape Stevie wore on the cover of In Step, the black and yellow shirt he wore on MTV Unplugged, a well-worn pair of Stevie's boots (which can be seen in the "Crossfire" video), rare concert posters, photos and other items. I also played the new SRV box set for everyone, the advance copy having arrived just in time!
Friday, October 20: The luxury tour bus took us sightseeing in Dallas, including Stevie's childhood home, schools he attended, the "Tick Tock" walk and his last home. Then we traveled in luxury down the road to Austin viewing rare videos along the way. Sony/Legacy provided me with promo samplers of the new SRV box set to give away, and Double Trouble's publicist, Beverly Howell, brought promo photos to give away. In Austin we toured the Austin City Limits studio with publicist Pat Cosgrove and Executive Producer Terry Lickona providing insight on the history and future of the longest running music show on US TV, and in particular Terry's memories of Stevie's two appearances on the show in 1983 and 1989. There was time for photos on or in front of the famous stage. W.C. Clark, formerly of Triple Threat Revue with Stevie, put on a great show tonight, as we grooved well into the morning hours.
Saturday, October 21: We visited a number of Austin SRV sights, including the SRV Memorial, places Stevie lived and clubs where he played, and lunch at Stevie's favorite Bar-B-Q restaurant, Sam's. Ray Hennig visited with us at his store, Heart of Texas Music, where Stevie obtained Number One. Ray's stories of the Vaughan brothers' rising careers were a treat to hear. For the first time on the Fan Club tours, we visited Texas Hatters where Stevie got his trademark black hats. Stevie's good friend Joella Torres, now proprietor of the shop, entertained with stories of Stevie and other celebreties they have "hatted." Saturday night Stevie's friend and a great musician, Alan Haynes, performed a red-hot show. Even after a couple of long days of sightseeing and staying out late, I did not see anyone leaving before 1:30am! Alan's band also includes a couple of other veterans who performed with Stevie: Uncle John Turner played drums in Krackerjack with Stevie, and Appa played bass in the house band where Stevie would often sit in. Alan occasionally shared the bill with Stevie in the early '80's, and Stevie would call him up on stage to join in, particularly on "Little Wing."
Sunday, October 22: I let everyone sleep in a little late today. We left Austin at 11:00 to head back to Dallas. We joined for lunch and a meet & greet by Stevie's friend and songwriting partner Doyle Bramhall and his wife Barbara Logan, co-writer of "Life by the Drop." We took a little extra time so everyone would have a chance to meet Doyle, get autographs and photos.
Sunday provided the most unusual incident of this year's tour. It rained most of the 200 miles back to Dallas as we were essentially following a storm as it moved north through Texas. As we neared Stevie's gravesite, the final stop on this year's tour, the lightning and thunder cracked and rolled around us. I was seriously considering keeping everyone on the bus because of the lightning. As the bus pulled into the gates of the cemetery (about a 200-yard walk to Stevie's resting place) the rain suddenly stopped. I could still see the lightning in the near distance, but I cautiously got out of the bus and had a look around. The heaviest part of the storm had already passed through this area and was heading away from us, so I let everyone off the bus and we walked up to the Vaughan Estate. After 10 or 15 minutes, I looked up to see another rainstorm heading right for us, so I told everyone to head for the bus. Just as we boarded for the bus, it started raining again. So, we had just enough time inbetween parts of the storm to visit Stevie's resting place. As we headed through Dallas toward the airport and hotel, a brilliant rainbow appeared. Texas weather is unpredictable, but it seems awfully coincidental that the rain would stop exactly as we arrived, and only long enough for everyone to pay their respects.
This year's tour had a lot of special moments. Because of their busy schedules I never know if we will be joined by special guests on the tour, but this year things fell into place for almost all of the folks I invited to join us. My sincere thanks to Doyle Bramhall, Barbara Logan, Joe Cook, Ray Hennig, Joella Torres, Pat Cosgrove and Terry Lickona for taking time to visit with us. And thanks to W.C. Clark (and his manager Vicky) and Alan Haynes for booking shows in Austin for us at my request. I judge the success of the tours by the number of folks wanting to return for future tours, and this year's group may be well represented in 2001!
Most importantly, thanks to the Tour 2000 attendees for making this a great tour! I made a lot of new friends, and I hope to see all of you again on future tours!