In a recent chat with Guitar Player, bassist Tommy Shannon shared an interesting tidbit about how Stevie Ray Vaughan almost declined an offer from David Bowie.
Bowie had been impressed by Vaughan’s performance at the 1982 Montreux Festival. While working on his 1983 album, ‘Let’s Dance’, Bowie decided he wanted Vaughan’s distinctive guitar skills for the project.
One late night, at 3:30 AM, Bowie called. It was Shannon who answered, and he recounted having to rouse Vaughan to speak to the iconic British singer. Post-call, Vaughan mentioned Bowie’s invitation to contribute to his upcoming album.
But here’s the twist: Vaughan wasn’t particularly drawn to Bowie’s music. Shannon mentioned, “The ‘Texas Flood’ tracks give a glimpse into what Stevie truly admired. He acknowledged Bowie’s talent and success, but wasn’t his regular listener.”
Yet, Vaughan’s management team saw potential in the collaboration. They urged him to consider Bowie’s offer, despite potential scheduling issues with ‘Texas Flood’, a project Vaughan and his band were working on, even before any deal was inked.
In the end, Vaughan did add his touch to the title track of ‘Let’s Dance’. After that, he refocused on his own band, Double Trouble, which included Shannon and drummer Chris Layton. Together, they released ‘Texas Flood’, a hit that solidified Vaughan’s standing in a rejuvenated blues landscape.