Stevie Ray Vaughan famously played on David Bowie‘s hit album Let’s Dance. For many, it was their first introduction to the iconic guitarist, and it almost led to him touring with Bowie in support of the album, but things took a turn.
The incident is recalled in a new excerpt from Texas Flood: The Inside Story of Stevie Ray Vaughan published by Rolling Stone. The lengthy details Vaughan and Bowie’s initial meeting and recording together, but things started to fall apart during the tour rehearsals.
Double Trouble bassist Tommy Shannon said, “There was a part of the show where Stevie was supposed to walk down a ramp, and they wanted him to do these choreographed moves, but he’d walk exactly the same normal way every time. They could never get him to do what they wanted, because Stevie was incapable of pretending to be something he wasn’t.”
There was also talk of Vaughan and Double Trouble opening, which never came to fruition, but one of the final straws for Vaughan was how he wasn’t allowed to talk to the press about Double Trouble and their upcoming debut album, Texas Flood.
Double Trouble drummer Chris Layton said, “Bowie insisted that he orchestrate all press. He was turning the screw a little tighter, and Stevie hated to be controlled; it made him want to break out of jail, and things really started to become strained between Bowie and Stevie’s management. Stevie said, ‘They wanted to try and control what I could say or not say about the record and about me.’ That’s really crossing a line with Stevie Ray Vaughan, so he wanted to have a talk with David, and he was told David was on an island and couldn’t be reached. Stevie asked, ‘Well, don’t they have a phone on that island?’ And they said, ‘David cannot be reached.’ Stevie said he told them, ‘Well, when you can get the word to him, tell him that Stevie Ray quit.’
The full excerpt at RollingStone.com is really worth the read and offers up additional details of this tour lineup that never was. Texas Flood: The Inside Story of Stevie Ray Vaughan comes out August 13 and is available for pre-order at Amazon.