Crossfire: A Tribute to Stevie Ray
(Blues Bureau Int’l)
by Jon Sarre
When Stevie Ray Vaughan departed this world for the hottest circle of hell (where he is currently undergoing horrible and unspeakable tortures at the hands of Howlin’ Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson and Robert Johnson for crimes relating to spiffy guitaritude and whitewashing the blues), I had the satisfaction of knowing my fervent prayers were finally heard (now if we could only do something about Joe Satriani…). Needless to say, it was great to be rid of the guy. Unfortunately, I hadn’t counted on the fact that the guy had a buncha fans or friends or somethin’, and they’re hell bent on conspiring to start some kind of sicko death cult with these fucking tribute albums. There’s even gonna be a movie coming out (Scene: A guitar shop. A young Stevie Ray completes a technically flawless rendition of “Wonderbread Blues.” Onlookers applaud appreciatively. Female Onlooker: “Who-ee! You shure kin play that there gee-tar, boy!” Stevie Ray: “Thank you.” [Smiles] Cut to…).
I don’t want to dwell on the cruel injustice of a “major motion picture biography” where the only possible moral could be “You should’ve taken the bus instead,” especially when any and all Johnny Thunders-related bio-pics are collecting dust on some producer’s desk somewhere, not when it took five tries to get this disc to play in my CD player (ah, technology!). Let’s see here, for personnel, we’ve got Steve Stevens (wasn’t he in Def Leppard? No, that guy’s dead.), Steve Morse (is he the same jerk who rock crits for The Boston Globe?), Albert “Steve” Lee (he played at Woodstock, y’know), Stanley “Steve” Jordan, Walter “Steve” Trout and a buncha other guys named “Steve” (but not Steve Vai, Steve Albini, or Steve Garvey) playing Stevie Ray Vaughan songs. You could even call it a “Tribute Record!” Needless to say, everyone plays really swell. Perfect, like a Xerox copy, which makes it a copy of a copy (of a copy of a copy). Therefore this record is so far removed from reality that it was never recorded or released. Thus, this record never existed, nor will it ever exist. Same goes for Stevie Ray, me, you and this magazine.