on October 20, 2011
This two book series has been recognized by some in the music industry as the largest body of work, ever compiled & written about any musician of any genre or era, by any one single author. Also, the author has been recognized by the music industry as being the formost authority on the life & history of Stevie Ray Vaughan. The author has earned the prestigous "Keeping the Blues Alive" Award in Literature. So, both books are very detailed, very well illustrated, very well documented & supported, and very well presented. As I brought out in my review of book #1 of this two book series, the author has written previous books about Stevie Ray Vaughan, and he must be a family "insider" to have access to the information, he covers in both books. This book two does reveal that SRV's mother gave the author unprecedented access to SRV's personal photos, documents, and etc. The author dedicated this book #2 to SRV's Mother. Now, this two book series is the ultimate Stevie Ray Vaughan reference source, and definitely the ultimate Stevie Ray Vaughan "collector's item".
The forward on book two "His Final Years", is very "heartfelt", and was written by SRV's fellow Texas Guitar friend, Billy F. Gibbons of ZZ Top.
Although the title of this book (Book #2) states "His Final Years, 1983 - 1990", the book actually covers SRV's legacy, including post-humous: awards, releases, magazine articles, tributes, and etc. all the way up through the time of publication in 2011.
This Book two "His Final Years" starts out in 1983 when Stevie Ray was involved with David Bowie, on Bowie's "Let's Dance" Album & project. Stevie Ray played guitar on several tracks on that album. Then the book continues in great detail "day by day, night after night", on the life & times of the late/great Stevie Ray Vaughan. The main focus of this book (#2) is Stevie's professional life, beginning with his first commerically released album "Texas Flood". The book is packed full of illustrations that only an "insider" would have access to. Even though the main focus is on SRV's professional life, his personal life is also covered. It covers his breakup with his wife Lenny, and his girl friend Janna, from New Zealand, who was still his girl friend when Stevie Ray was killed. It covers his alcohol & drug addiction problems and how he overcame them, and became an inspiration to others stuggling with similiar problems. It includes a story & photo of "Willie the Wimp and His Cadillac Coffin." It's a Chicago story. It covers the grammy & other music awards won by Stevie Ray Vaughan, along with his albums, songs, tours, including the famous SRV/Jeff Beck Tour, his shows, setlists, magazine articles, concert posters, his band Double Trouble, personal & professional photos and on and on. It includes photos of the Stevie Ray Vaughan Memorial Statue, in Austin, Texas. It's simply packed with information, photos, and illustations.
It covers his last concert in Alpine Valley in Wisconsin, where SRV performed with Eric Clapton, Robert Cray, and others. Then it covers the sad news of the helicopter crash after the show, that killed Stevie Ray. The book covers SRV's funeral, including close-up photos, including one with Bonnie Raitt, Stevie Wonder and Jackson Browne singing "Amazing Grace". It covers his death as reported in newspapers. Dallas, and Austin, Texas were especially, very saddend by Stevie Ray's death.
This book two includes Stevie Ray's Guitars, and has photos of many of them listed by name, beginning with "Number 1", and including "Lenny". It also includes other equitment used by SRV, including amplifiers, and even guitar picks.
This book two also continues with Stevie Ray's legacy, post-humous: releases, news articles, magazine articles, and just a lot of information in general about Stevie Ray, after his death, all the way up through time of publication in 2011.
If you like Stevie Ray Vaughan, then you'll love this ultimate two book series. I am very thankful to the author Craig Hopkins for taking on this monumental task of writting and assembling all the vast material in these two books. This two book series will be a treasure forever, even for future generations, just as Stevie Ray Vaughan's legacy & songs will be. Like the author so eloquently states, when Stevie Ray was asked what he wanted to be remembered for, SRV replied "To take the color out of the blues", and "day by day, and night after night, that's exactly what SRV did." Thanks very much, and I sincerely hope this review has been helpful.
P.S. The Stevie Ray Vaughan Tribute Concert DVD covered in this book, is available from amazon. It includes tributes from Eric Clapton, Jimmie Vaughan, Buddy Guy, Bonnie Raitt, Robert Cray, B.B.King, Dr. John, Art Neville, and Double Trouble.