I had a Stevie Ray Vaughan phase in my life. There was a one or two year period in my twenties where I bought all his studio albums, as well as a handful of bootlegs. The speed, the energy, the passion, the talent—all fed me like a drug. Putting “Lovestruck Baby” on the stereo and cranking up the volume as loud as I could stand it put the hairs on my arm on end, Stevie's actually crackling in the background. And while I haven’t done that in a while (kids, middle age, yada yada), when I saw Alan Paul and Andy Aledort’s biography Texas Flood, I took a peek. When I saw that it was essentially a string of excerpts of interviews taken during and after Vaughan’s life, glued together by Paul and Aledort’s adroit editing, I splashed the cash. And after turning the last page, with Stevie’s uplifting, dark, uplifting, dramatic, human story fresh in my mind, I found the book’s value.
Texas Flood proves the old adage ‘You gotta live the blues to sing the blues’ both right and wrong. Vaughan subject to his own demons, the demons of a rough childhood, and the demons of fame and fortune, until ultimately killing the demons, Texas Flood details the life of a man born to play the guitar through the highest peaks and lowest valleys of life. The lives of the people around him told in live stereo, it is their words, as well as Stevie’s own, which comprise the overwhelming majority of the book. From bandmates, past and further past, to producers, friends, colleagues, fellow guitarists, and a number of people from within the industry, all chime in to comment upon the major milestones and lesser known details of Vaughan’s career and personal life.