Jeff Beck on Stevie Ray Vaughan’s blues playing: “He was the closest thing to Hendrix”

The 77-year-old guitarist has also commented on the “tragic story” of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s death.

Jeff Beck and Stevie Ray Vaughan

Photo: Aaron Rapoport / Corbis / Getty

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Jeff Beck has reflected on his relationship with Stevie Ray Vaughan in a new interview, heaping praise on the late guitarist and comparing him to Jimi Hendrix.

“I think Stevie Ray was the closest thing to Hendrix when it came to playing the blues,” Beck told Classic Rock in an interview published last Wednesday (18 June).

Beck also recalled his first meeting with the Texas blues legend in 1981, saying he was “a little worse for wear” at the time.

“I met him at a CBS convention in Hawaii,” Beck recalled. “He was eating KFC out of a box and then ate the box as well.”

Eight years later, the two guitarists hit the road together on the commercially successful The Fire Meets the Fury Tour.

“We went on the road together in ’89,” Beck remembered. “[Stevie had] got a beautiful new girlfriend and he was as straight as a die. We were on the road for about three months.”

Vaughan died just a year later in a helicopter accident before a show at the Alpine Valley Music Theatre to support Eric Clapton.

“He went in that helicopter he didn’t want to get on it,” Beck said of the tragedy. “The people around him talked him into it by saying: ‘Look Eric [Clapton] has just got on one.’ So off he went and never came back.”

Elsewhere in his interview, Beck also discussed his falling out with Clapton, whom he had replaced in The Yardbirds.


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