Stevie Ray Vaughan - Live @ The El Mocambo

Mick Jagger from The Rolling Stones saw a tape of a show and liked what he saw. He asked Stevie and his band to play a private party hosted by The Rolling Stones at the Danceteria club in New York. After the show, Mick and guitar player Keith Richards talked to the band about getting them a record deal. It never went through, however, and they went back to Texas.

Jerry Wexler, record executive from Atlantic Records, saw the band playing at a record release party for Lou Ann Barton's new position as singer for Roomful of Blues. He recommended that the band play the Montreux International Jazz Festival in Switzerland. Manager Chesley Milikin put in a call to Claude Nobs, the host of the Montreux Jazz Festival, and would be the first unsigned act to perform at the festival on July 17, 1982.
SRV at the Montreux Jazz Festival, 1982.

The band was booked on a jazz acoustic night, a setup that involved an upright bass, piano, and generally soft music. The loud and powerful sound of Stevie and Double Trouble shocked the staid crowd. After a few songs, the gig seemed headed for disaster, as some of the audience members booed. Larry Graham, from Sly & The Family Stone was looking forward to an encore with the band, but unfortunately, it never happened.

As the band was backstage, devastated and disappointed, David Bowie and Jackson Browne, two celebrities in the audience approached them to say they had liked what they heard. Browne offered the band 72 hours of free studio time at his own studio in downtown Los Angeles. David Bowie also invited Stevie to play on his upcoming album, Let's Dance, co-produced by Nile Rodgers.

To be able to afford the gasoline to take them to Los Angeles, the band booked a small tour at various clubs like Fitzgerald's in Houston and The Continental Club in Austin. When they finally traveled to Los Angeles during Thanksgiving weekend in 1982, they recorded an album's worth of songs: eight songs the first day; two the next. The band then went back to Texas, where Stevie recorded the vocals at Riverside Sound in Austin.


No comments: