As I write this, I'm listening to Stevie Ray's "Live at Montreux 1982." In reverence to the man and his art, I will not bore you with a "remember when" piece that you've become accustomed to from me by now. But I ask of you, what makes a Rembrandt a "Rembrandt?" What gave John Glenn the courage to take flight in Apollo 11 to the moon? And lastly, on the staggering beauty of Marilyn Monroe, where and how did genetics manifest itself all in one place for such a goddess to be born? When I listen to Stevie play "Dirty Pool," the man found himself in a place we've all been; Only Stevie could haunt us with such a tale of love gone wrong.
A masterful storyteller he was, that told stories masterfully. His guitar tone was as dry as a San Antonio summer and as sparkling clean as a Dallas debutante, but he had that "something" that I, as a mere mortal just don't have. That "something" I can't explain. I can play the notes, but my point is, he didn't just play the notes. Something deep in me isn't as deep as that. This "something" he had just dripped from his pores. Maybe from just such a place inside him that hurt so bad, we mortals only can watch him bleed and be thankful we didn't suffer at the hands of whatever it was that chased him. Isn't that really the fate of being a Bluesman? Wouldn't you just have to find yourself crying out to God on bended knee to be mentioned in the rare air of such legends as Howlin Wolf, B.B. King and Robert Johnson? Wouldn't Job in the Bible be a shoe-in if he only had a Stratocaster? The ultimate "Crossroads" story that was without a doubt.
Satan replied,"Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face."
With that, a bet was waged and we all know the end of the story. God prevailed, but did Job? Job knew great pain and so did Stevie Ray and that is my point here. As if you had to suffer like that, but Stevie was no doubt a cautionary tale. That which resonates in you, you will become.
Someone once wrote, "A work will only have deep resonance if the kind of darkness I can generate is something that resides in me already."
As for Stevie and gathering darkness? Just remember, a candle never loses anything by the lighting of another candle. And, I suppose that's on the why I can only play the notes...