I give private tours of SRV-related sites in the Dallas area: the places where Stevie was born, grew up, recorded, played music, lived with Janna, his gravesite and other memorial sites. For blues fans I can usually add the place Robert Johnson (and Bob Wills) recorded and Freddie King’s gravesite. The tours typically pass near the President Kennedy site, and it is easy to add part of the same route JFK took to our tour. Every tour is custom designed and can vary in length from two to four hours. The fee is per tour, not per person. So if your traveling companion is not a huge SRV fan, it doesn’t cost any more to bring them along. (Maybe we can convert them.) The maximum number of guests is four per tour.
It would be a good idea to contact me before you plan your trip because I can provide advice on lodging in addition to scheduling the tour. I prefer to give tours on weekend mornings when traffic is not as big an issue, but if you have no option but a weekday, we’ll see what we can work out.
I used to do tours around Austin, but there are so few SRV-related sites left that it is not worth the travel time for me. You should visit Auditorium Shores to see the statue of Stevie and where he played several times. I believe the only club that still appears largely the way it was when Stevie played is the Continental Club, though I have not been there in many years.
THE SRV FAN CLUB TOURS
From 1994 to 2006, there were nine tours organized by the Fan Club. I cannot tell you how many life-long friendships (and some romances) were started on the tours. They were a ton of work for me to organize, but the multi-day tours were among the most rewarding things to come out of the Fan Club. We started things off with special guest speakers, then toured Dallas and Austin SRV sights by luxury tour bus, and heard live music. Special guests included Stevie’s aunt and uncle Joe and Margaret Cook, “The” Doyle Bramhall, Chris Layton, Tommy Shannon, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Ray Hennig (Heart of Texas Music), Cutter Brandenburg (roadie), Byron Barr (roadie), Alan Haynes (musician), Joe Nick Patoski (biographer), Bill Crawford (biographer), Jack Chase (Epic/Sony Records), Jim Suhler (musician), Joella Gammage Torres (Texas Hatters), Timothy Duckworth (personal assistant), Alex Napier (Cobras), Terry Lickona (Austin City Limits), Jeff Healey (musician), Tyler Bryant (musician) and others. Attendees came from all over the world! Some fans attended four, five or even all nine tours! At this time, there is no plan to conduct any more multi-day tours, but you never know.
Yes, that is the famous (original) stage of “Austin City Limits” in one of the photos above. It was a regular stop on the tours.
ANNUAL SRV MEMORIAL CONCERT
From 1991 until 2017 there was an annual SRV memorial motorcycle ride and concert in the Dallas area. Some of the performers were Double Trouble, Johnny Winter, Jeff Healey, Los Lonely Boys, Fabulous Thunderbirds (after Stevie’s brother left the band of course), “The” Doyle Bramhall, Alan Haynes, Jim Suhler and many others.
I was never part of the administration of the event, but I exhibited memorabilia and gave away books and CDs at many of the events. The events benefited the SRV Scholarship Fund for historically underprivileged kids in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas where Stevie grew up.
The organization changed leadership several times over the years, and unfortunately some allegations were raised about finances in the 2010’s and it was reported that Stevie’s brother shut it down rather than allow new leadership to get things back on track. A couple of years later the scholarship fund was also shut down.
SRV MEMORIAL SEMI-ANNUAL MAINTENANCE
Affectionately known as “Stevie’s Bath,” the fan club performed the maintenance on the statue in Austin twice per year from 1995 through 2006. We had a lot of fun taking care of Stevie, but most of the “regulars” on the crew traveled over 400 miles round trip to do the maintenance (some came from other countries!), and so responsibility was turned over to the City of Austin. The most damage when we were doing the maintenance was from candle wax, so please, when you visit, NO CANDLES! Unfortunately, in recent years the statue has been vandalized several times by criminals.
Those who helped with Stevie’s bath from 1995 to 2006 were honored in the name of the fan club for recognition as Partners in the Arts and Humanities in Austin. I received a letter from the Director of Austin Parks and Recreation Department stating: “Your organization has been selected as one of our ‘Partners in the Arts and Humanities’ honorees. For the eleventh year the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department Cultural Arts staff is recognizing individuals, businesses and organizations that have made valuable contributions in support of our Cultural Arts programs. The Stevie Ray Vaughan Fan Club has been selected to receive this honor for its valuable and exemplary support of these programs, especially the care and maintenance of the Stevie Ray Vaughan sculpture in the Town Lake corridor. Many programs and services in the arts and humanities enrich the Austin community because individuals, businesses and organizations have a community spirit and share this with their fellow citizens. It is my pleasure to congratulate you in your recognition and to say thank you for all your support and assistance to the Austin Parks and Recreation Department.”
The eagle-eyed will notice in the photo that Chris and Tommy stopped by during one of the maintenance days!