I established the Stevie Ray Vaughan Fan Club in 1992. Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions I received over the course of 25 years. You can learn a lot about Stevie just reading this page, which I hope you will do before sending me questions. Thanks.
Where can I make a charitable contribution in Stevie’s memory?
The Stevie Ray Vaughan Scholarships were awarded from approximately 1993 until 2019, but that fund closed in February 2020. There were several other funds established in the 1990’s, but I believe they are all defunct. I am not aware of any surviving charitable fund in Stevie’s name. Another option, one chosen by Stevie’s mother for memorials before she passed away, is no-kill animal shelters. Stevie and his mother loved their pets.
I want to make and sell SRV T-shirts, artwork, etc. What can you tell me about SRV items for sale on the internet?
You need permission from the Estate of Stevie Ray Vaughan for new products. It is highly recommended that you consult with an attorney regarding your rights as an artist. My understanding is that an artist may create an original work of art which incorporates Stevie’s name or likeness, but may NOT reproduce, market, publish or distribute copies or prints of that artwork without permission from Stevie’s Estate, regardless whether they are sold or given away. My observation is that most of the SRV items for sale on the internet are illegal, unlicensed merchandise and forged autographs. I watched the major internet auction sites regularly for 20 years, and in my opinion 95% of all SRV autographs, concert posters, pins, stickers, guitar picks, signs and other miscellaneous items I saw were unlicensed, illegal or forged items. Buyer beware. If you want to buy investment grade SRV memorabilia, be very careful who you buy from. See also my comments on the Collecting Advice page of this site and in The Essential Stevie Ray Vaughan for other collecting tips.
VALUES, APPRAISALS & AUTHENTICITY
How much is my “stuff” worth?
& Can you take a look at this and tell me if it is genuine?
For several reasons, I do not give opinions on authenticity of other sellers’ merchandise. I have provided an analysis of the factors involved in valuing and authenticating memorabilia in The Essential Stevie Ray Vaughan. Some of that information can be found in the Collecting Advice page of this website. In terms of authentication, the bottom line is that if you have a reasonable doubt, don’t buy it, because the seller has not satisfied you regarding the item’s authenticity.
If you need an insurance appraisal, for a reasonable fee I will provide a written estimate of value including a statement of my qualifications. It is a professional service just like a jewelry or antiques appraisal. However, contrary to some appraisers, I do not base my fee on the value of the item(s) appraised. That is not a fair practice to charge differently for the same amount of work. If the items were purchased from me, I will provide an updated appraisal at no charge. To determine the insurance appraisal fee I would need to know the exact number of items you want appraised. If you accept the fee you can pay it through Paypal and supply me with a detailed list of items containing a description and condition. After looking over your list I will let you know if I have questions or need photos of anything. Please understand the appraisal is only as good as the information you provide me to work with. For anything that is framed, I will assume the framer has used acid-free material and has not diminished the value of the items framed (dry mounting, trimming, adhesives, non-acid-free materials, etc.). Many framers do not use conservation methods or materials, but there is no way for me to know how much damage they have done without an inspection, so I merely qualify my appraisal on that basis. Insurance appraisals do not include guarantees of authenticity of autographs.
With rare exception I only authenticate autographs purchased from me. If you are looking for a buyer for your memorabilia, I am happy to respond to your offer to sell SRV or other blues / rock memorabilia you have for sale.
BOOTLEGS & OTHER UNRELEASED RECORDINGS
Where can I get bootlegs, “imports,” MTV Unplugged, etc.?
I do not make referrals to bootleggers for a number of reasons, including that I cannot vouch for the quality of the products (especially video) or the honesty of the dealers. In other words, you can’t get them from me, and I do not tell people where they can get them.
Why haven’t they released … ?
VIDEO: We would all love to see various of Stevie’s television appearances and professionally recorded concerts released for purchase. But a TV station typically negotiates the right for an initial broadcast and perhaps the right to rebroadcast the program/concert a limited number of times over a limited time period. But, they almost never have a right to market and sell concert recordings or even programs they produce themselves. For example, VH-1, to my knowledge, no longer has the right to even broadcast the Legends special about Stevie because their rebroadcast rights ended after three years (2000). Why didn’t they negotiate a longer term? Maybe budget, maybe their focus is keeping their content fresh, or maybe that is the longest term they could negotiate from the dozens of rights owners involved in making a documentary, or maybe they were short-sighted. Any and all of the following may have rights, and may or may not want to grant rights for any number of personal or professional reasons: the writers, the producers, the station, each of the artists, the record companies, the management companies, the Estate of deceased persons, the licensed merchandisers, the actors, the publishers, the copyright owners (which may be numerous) etc. You can’t just say “this should be released” – it’s not that simple.
AUDIO: The same issues are involved here, but a record company is a business, and the record company’s focus is going to be on the market as a whole, not just the hardcore fans. They will never release all the things the fans think are worthy.
How do I join the fan club?
There has not been a requirement to “join” the fan club since 1997. My websites took the place of the subscription snail mail newsletters, and all access has always been free. I do not have any photos or other material to send out for free. I used to give away CDs and such on the fan club tours and concerts. I do not even send out email blasts more than once or twice a year (and sometimes not for several years), though I do maintain a mailing list that you can be on if you tell me you want to be on it. I usually do it when there is a major new SRV product or I have important collectibles for sale.
What amps, guitars, effects did Stevie use? How can I get his tone?
See the Gear page of this website. I cannot answer other gear and technical questions.
HOW DO I ORDER YOUR BOOKS?
I am sold out of all the first printings, but occasionally I have used copies for sale elsewhere on this website. Only 3102 copies of the Anthology were printed, and 2967 copies of The Essential Stevie Ray Vaughan. If I do not have any copies available, your best bet may be eBay or other online marketplace for used items. They were originally priced at $19.95 and $29.95 respectively, but I have seen them sell for hundreds of dollars. With patience you should not have trouble finding them for a reasonable price.
I had 3200 copies of Stevie Ray Vaughan: Day By Day, Night After Night printed, and it is still the most comprehensive biography of Stevie yet published. For the 2nd printing, the book was split into two volumes: His Early Years, 1954-1982, published in 2010; and His Later Years, 1983-1990, published in 2011. The first volume contains the most information you have probably never read before. The second volume covers the peak of his popularity and recording career from 1983 through 1990, plus all significant information through 2008. Please visit an online retailer to get your copies.
You may see Day by Day offered as 2 volumes inside a slipcase. The publisher only made 1,618 of the slipcase edition, and it sold out several years ago. Again, your best bet for that special edition is probably eBay or other online marketplaces for used items.
When did Stevie play in [insert the name of your town here]?
There are approximately 2000 concert dates listed in Stevie Ray Vaughan: Day by Day, Night After Night. Your question is part of the reason I wrote the book. I simply do not have time to look this up for everyone.
Is there going to be an SRV movie?
Short answer: unlikely.
In the 1990’s, Miramax Films planned a movie with Robert Rodriguez to direct. To my knowledge, Rodriguez has not publicly commented on the project since 2001. Ownership of Miramax has changed quite a few times since then, sometimes involving the Weinstein Company. Before ownership changed again, I tried to track down who owned the SRV film property, but both Weinstein and Miramax responded that the other had it.
VH-1 planned a TV biopic, but the project was shelved many years ago.
Over the past 30 years, many people have contacted me saying they want to write and shop a screenplay about Stevie. To my knowledge, none of them gained the approval of Stevie’s Estate, much less it’s cooperation.
However, VH-1 did an excellent documentary in 1997 as part of their Legends series which you might be able to watch online somewhere. VH-1 never planned a home release, and to my knowledge no longer has broadcast rights.
Also, a British company did a documentary in two parts called Rise of a Texas Bluesman and Lonestar. These are available on DVD and are often broadcast on TV.
NUMBER 1 / MUSEUM
Where are Stevie’s guitars, etc.? Is there an SRV museum or display anywhere?
The Vaughan Estate owns all of Stevie’s guitars, the gold coin rings and the Coptic cross which Stevie wore. Most rumors of the sale of Stevie’s guitars are false. In particular, the persistent rumor that Randy Bachman bought Number One is false. My understanding is that Bachman either purchased an expensive replica of Number One or an SRV Signature Stratocaster prototype. Stevie’s guitar called “Lenny” was auctioned for charity in June 2004, bringing over $623,000. The buyer was Guitar Center. Some of Stevie’s guitars were stolen in 2007, and some were not recovered. A year-long exhibition in Dallas of perhaps the most important collection of SRV memorabilia (other than the guitars) began in May 2006 and ran through mid-May 2007. Number One was on display at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles from June 2014 until April 2015. From there it is my understanding the SRV exhibit went on to other cities in the US. In 2018, Stevie’s Fender Broadcaster from his days in the band Liberation (ca. 1970) sold for $250,000.
Is there audio or video of Stevie’s last performance?
No video of the last show has ever surfaced to my knowledge. There is a poor quality audience video of the August 25th show, and a couple of audience-made audio recordings of the August 26th show. Rumors of the existence of a soundboard tape of the last show persist. In preparation for the SRV box set, Sony told me they followed every lead, but could not find any soundboard recording of the last show.
What really happened regarding the helicopters that night?
The show was headlined by Eric Clapton who hired four helicopters to shuttle personnel to and from Chicago to avoid the notoriously gridlocked ground traffic after shows at that venue. After the show, one chopper was for some of Eric’s staff, plus an extra seat. Someone went backstage to see if anyone wanted to take it rather than wait for the helicopters to make a round trip to Chicago. Stevie, Double Trouble, his brother and others were waiting for the later flight, but Stevie took the extra seat. His brother has criticized Stevie for taking the seat, because he had gone out of his way to be a guest at the show. Why Stevie took the earlier flight is a matter of some conjecture, but there are several plausible explanations that are easy to understand given the already late hour, the main guitarists had left (possibly with plans to jam somewhere in Chicago), and (in the days before cell phones) he may have wanted to get back to the hotel to call his fiancee before it got any later. She was at their apartment in NYC where the hour was even later.
OTHER FAN CLUBS
Are there any other SRV fan clubs?
It depends on your definition, but not to my knowledge. A fan club is supposed to be a function of a record company’s marketing department, but there has not been any such thing for Stevie. When he was touring there was a mailing list for tour dates, but that’s it. I have never tried to prevent anyone else’s use of the fan club name. I used to try to get web authors to correct misinformation on their sites, but gave up many years ago. There is a lot of fraud and misinformation on the internet. Believe information on other sites at your own risk.
Where can I get a hat like Stevie’s?
Texas Hatters (the late Manny Gammage) made Stevie’s hats. You can find them in Lockhart, Texas, run by Manny’s daughter and her husband David. I highly recommend them. I have purchased several hats from them, and they are happy to make a hat for you just like Stevie’s, custom fit for you.
SRV MEMORIAL & GRAVE SITE
We are travelling to Texas soon. How do I find Stevie-related sights?
On occasion, I provide private guided tours of the Dallas-area sights for a fee. Contact me regarding availability (after the pandemic). I still enjoy meeting fans of Stevie’s music, one of the best benefits of running the fan club!
There are sightseeing maps for Austin and Dallas in my books, The Stevie Ray Vaughan Anthology and The Essential Stevie Ray Vaughan. The SRV Memorial is in Austin on the shore of the Colorado River (known as Lady Bird Lake as it goes through town). The park is called Auditorium Shores. Stevie’s grave site is in Laurel Land Cemetery, about 10 miles south of downtown Dallas at the intersection of IH35E and Laurel Land Road.
What is the “c/s” that Stevie sometimes put at the end of his autograph?
It stands for the Spanish phrase “con safos.” Apparently there are different meanings depending on the context. Rival gangs add c/s to their mark in the opposing neighborhood as if to say “We were here on your turf,” similar to giving someone the finger. It is also used by Latinx painters and muralists to say that in defacing my work or name you are bringing shame to yourself. This is putting it nicely. Basically it is meant as sort of a protective mark. Guitar Player magazine ran an article on the Tailgators, Don Leady and Keith Ferguson about 1987, in which Keith said it means, “Safe, here to stay.” Keith and Stevie were friends, so that was probably the interpretation Stevie would have attributed to it. Thanks to Marta Lozano, JJ Vicars and Rene Carrillo.
What is Stevie’s former fiancée Janna doing now?
Janna has continued modelling and has done some acting as well. She was in an episode of The Street on Fox TV, and in the Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn movie The Out of Towners as the woman Martin chases in the park. She has been a good friend since the late 1990’s. After seven years living in Australia, she moved back to the United States in 2008 with her husband and two sons. I don’t believe she will mind me revealing that she and her family were disgusted with the U.S.’s lack of a competent response to the pandemic, and has moved back to New Zealand where she grew up and they took the matter much more seriously. It is now one of the safest places on Earth. I’m disgusted with the U.S. response also, and with about 40% of the U.S. population in general.
What are Chris, Tommy and Reese doing now?
Double Trouble released a CD in February 2001, featuring guest appearances by Jonny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Stevie’s brother, Eric Johnson, Susan Tedeschi, Dr. John, Doyle Bramhall II, Charlie Sexton, Malford Milligan, Reese Wynans and others. Double Trouble continues to be in high demand for studio work and concerts. In 2003 they played several concerts with John Mayer. Tommy and Uncle John Turner did several Krackerjack reunion gigs, and in 2005 teamed with Greg Martin (KY Headhunters) and Bruce Bowland of Krackerjack to form The Nonprofit Prophets for a gig at the Dallas Guitar Show. In recent years I have not kept up with them, though I did recently exchange emails with Chris. I’m sure you can find current info online in other places.
“THE” DOYLE BRAMHALL
Doyle released three CDs – Bird Nest On the Ground (with one track featuring Stevie), Fitchburg Street and Is It News. He produced the Indigenous CD Circle, and albums by Chris Duarte and Marcia Ball. Doyle’s Is It News was nominated for a Grammy in 2007. Doyle passed away in November 2011. He was a good friend, a great musician and is sorely missed.
Doyle is not Sr., and Doyle II is not Jr. As a joke, Big Doyle had business cards in the 70’s or 80’s that had his name as The Doyle Bramhall.
This site is not about Stevie’s brother.
What happened to Lee Hopkins who did the Fan Club newsletters?
I used “Lee” for fan club business and the first book from 1993 to 1998.
STEVIE’S JEWELRY / WARDROBE
Does anyone sell crosses like Stevie wore late in his career? What kind of coin rings did Stevie wear? Where can I get [insert your favorite stage-worn item here] like Stevie wore?
Stevie wore a Coptic cross late in his career. There are infinite Coptic cross designs from tribes in Africa. Many fans have found similar crosses at craft shops, flea markets and pawn stores in their towns or online. Happy hunting.
I will see about moving info about his coin rings over to this site. You can remind me if it doesn’t show up here.
Print or patterned clothing is not made year after year. Typically, a patterned shirt is only made once, and when stores sell out, they are never manufactured again. The patterned shirts Stevie wore, such as on Austin City Limits and MTV Unplugged, have not been in stores since the 1980’s, to my knowledge. The poncho on the cover of In Step was purchased at a Dallas Mexican restaurant vendor’s booth which is long gone.
The “mailbox letters” Stevie had on his pick guards were purchased by him at truck stops. I used to be able to find the same stickers, but the company that made them redesigned the shape, and I haven’t seen the exact stickers in years. Never know when they might show up.
Similarly, Stevie’s musical note straps (he had them in several color combinations) can also be found in similar but different appearances. Stevie’s all had “Earth III” stamped on them. That company sold out many years ago, and the newer straps do not have that logo. Again, you might get lucky on an online used merchandise site.
What is Stevie’s nationality, ethnicity? What time was he born…?
If only I had a nickel for every time someone asked me, “What was Stevie’s nationality?” “Nationality” is a legal question refering to which nation a person belongs by origin, birth or naturalization. It has nothing directly to do with race or ethnicity (an oversimplification, race refers to biology; ethnicity to shared culture). Stevie was born a U.S. citizen in Dallas, Texas. His race and ethnicity was White. Questions regarding possible Native American or Hispanic race arise mainly because of the shape of Stevie’s nose, which was primarily the result of childhood sinus surgery that removed cartilage (he could press his nose flat).
I’ve been asked several times the exact time Stevie was born for some astrological purpose. It is my understanding that Stevie’s mother did not appreciate people trying to ascribe things to her son based on astrology, and it is not my place to facilitate such pursuits.
Where can I get that photo of Stevie on the beach with his arms outstretched, which appears near the end of the VH-1 Legends program?
The original photo appeared for the first time in print in my book, Stevie Ray Vaughan: Day By Day, Night After Night. You’re welcome.
ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME
For 25 years, one of the most asked questions was whether Stevie would get into the Rock Hall. Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble were first eligible in 2008 for the 2009 ceremony. They were first nominated in 2014, won the fan voting with a record 31% of all votes, and were elected to the Hall of Fame on their first ballot for the April 18, 2015, induction ceremony. I was lucky to attend, and it was a great show with an excellent tribute to Stevie by John Mayer. I contributed my two cents to the effort led by others to have Double Trouble included because Stevie would absolutely have wanted it that way.
JANNA, MARTHA, LENNY
[Insert your personal question here]
I have been good friends with Janna since 1998, and Martha from 1993 until her passing in 2009. I do not answer personal questions about them beyond what you may find on this website or in my books. Lenny refused to talk to me and passed away in mid-2018.
Are there more recordings of SRV on acoustic guitar?
To my knowledge, Stevie performed the following acoustic sets or songs: October 14, 1985, in Berkeley, CA, a 20-minute set; August 1986 the TV special American Caravan included “Oreo Cookie Blues” with Lonnie Mack; January 30, 1990, MTV Unplugged, 3.5 songs. The three completed songs from Unplugged appear on the SRV box set and on the Pride and Joy DVD.
COLD SHOT VIDEO
Who is the woman in the “Cold Shot” video?
Margaret Wiley. She was a popular actress at Esther’s Follies theater on 6th Street in Austin. From Esther’s website: “Margaret was our wild and wonderful star from 1980 – 1999, one of our major writers, creative choreographer and costume/prop maker extraordinary [sic]. She appeared in a Steve Ray Vaughan video, built floats for Ann Richards’ Inauguration Parade, and made all our wigs towering beehive masterpieces. Chi Chi LaBamba, Margaret Wiley’s memorable bombshell character, always started the show after the News Medley by going out into the audience and picking out three contenders for “Hunk of the Night,” asking them questions, and letting the audience decide who was the hunkiest to dance with her in sombrero and maracas.” She was voted Funniest Person in Austin in 1988; she died in 1999. Interestingly, Stevie had relatives named Wiley, but to my knowledge they are not related to Margaret.