Had Stevie Ray Vaughn not suddenly surfaced in the early 1980s, guitar in hand and a nearly uncontrollable urge to play it, then the blues might have willed him into existence.
These, after all, weren’t the best times for the blues, which had been the bedrock of all American music for nearly a century. MTV was making pop music more physical and visual: Think Michael Jackson and Madonna.
Most of mainstream rock was all about big sound, arena shows, and elaborate stage sets. And new wave, though it rebelled against rock’s more ornate sounds and superstar mindset, was as style-conscious as it was interested in a simpler approach to making records.
Photography: Michael Zorn