Lost & Found: STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN's Tour Rehearsal w/ David Bowie (1983)

November 12, 2018

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DAVID BOWIE first met STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN after watching/hearing him perform at the Montreaux Jazz Festival in 1982. The British Rock Star was so impressed, that he offered an invite to the then-unknown guitarist to to play on a bunch of songs for his upcoming album, 'Let's Dance,' which Vaughan accepted. His guitar work on songs like 'China Girl' and the album's title track added a whole new dimension to Bowie's songs and helped propel the 'Let's Dance' album to great success. In advance of the 'Serious Moonlight Tour' in support of the album, Bowie looked to enlist Vaughan for the tour as well, offering him and his band, Double Trouble, a few opening spots on the tour to help entice SRV to join. Stevie Ray's reluctance to leave his band (they had just recorded their debut album) coupled with unkept promises on Bowie's management's part kept him from going on tour with Bowie. Time has proven that neither man's career was negatively impacted; Bowie went on tour with guitarists Earl Slick and Carlos Alomar, both of whom had recorded previously with Bowie, and well, we know all about Stevie Ray Vaughan's meteoric rise to the upper echelon of the greatest guitarists ever. Life is filled with 'What ifs," and certainly music fans can ask that question about the never-realized spectacle of Bowie w/ Stevie Ray Vaughan playing together...and while many of those 'What if'" questions never do get answered, in this case, we are being granted somehwat of a 'fly-on-the-wall' perspective. Soundboard recordings of the rehearsal sessions for the 'Serious Moonlight Tour' were recently 'found' after being mostly forgotten for many years, and they provide a seriously tantalizing listen to SRV's inimitable, fiery guitar work on 'China Girl,' 'Cat People,' and 'Let's Dance.' The rehearsal was recorded at the Las Colinas Soundstage in Dallas April 26, 1983, and the entire .(audio only) set is posted below for your enjoyment!

Cue to these times for those 3 songs: 31:48: "Let's Dance" 51: 30: "Cat People (Putting Out the Fire)" 55:45: "China Girl"