I can remember it like it was yesterday. My older cousin was a great example to me. He taught me how to hunt and to fish. Told me about how to treat girls, how to get along with my parents. He taught me how to fight. He was the older brother I never had. When I was about 13, he had tickets to Stevie Ray Vaughan concert. Instead of taking his girl, he took me. What a guy. I didn't know anything about SRV before that night, but man, that guy could play guitar.
Well he took me to the concert. It was surreal experience -- my first time in an arena like that with all those people. Dressed the way they were. Doing the "things" they were doing. Eye opener for this country boy for sure. Anyway, he bought me a large drink before the warm up act and I downed that baby, trying to keep my eyes on anything but the girl in the boob tube next to me, all the while stealing glances. That drink went right through me and I had to go. I mean bad. My cousin told me to hurry so I didn't miss Stevie coming on.
I went to the bathroom. By myself. I was very scared and it was a long way from our seats, onto the concourse, around to the one end. I got lost finding my way back because I left my ticket. I was so frustrated, running everywhere in a panic. How would I ever find him in all these people? The little security guys couldn't help because I didn't have my ticket. I ran around for probably 15 minutes, all sweaty, from one entrance to another trying to remember something, anything that would tell me this was the way. Somehow, I ended up going down this long hall.
I opened the door and everything was dark, but I could see light coming in from the side and front a ways away, then I saw people with headsets on and people moving large items. I realized I was backstage. WOW, I was both scared and excited at the same time. Then a very large man saw me and grabbed me, interrogating me as to why I was there. He did not believe my story and took me down a dark passage. I thought he was going to turn me over to the Police and my parents would be called and I would be grounded and my cousin would get in trouble. I had all kinds of crazy thoughts. Well, he didn't. He took me to a big door, opened it and shoved me out, calling me a few things that would get me banned here.
I fell down and it hurt. I was scared, and I cried. Then it started to rain. This was pre-cell phone days. I was in like a loading dock by the back stage door. I was about as depressed as a 13 year old could be. So I leaned against the door, trying to shelter from the rain and to figure out my next move. I was pretty low, and hung my head to keep from getting my face wet. Then I heard it -- the crowd roared so LOUD! WOW, what a sound. I imagined what was going on inside, what my cousin was seeing (hoping I wasn't ruining it for him). And then I heard it. Oh my. Stevie playing solo. Just one guitar. He freaking blew me away, and I was hearing muffled sounds coming through the door. I could only imagine what it would be like to hear it inside. That whole concert I listened to through that door in the rain and I decided I wanted to be there some day.
I somehow made my way from that loading dock to the parking lot and was able to orient myself and found my cousin's car. I waited for him. Man, did he yell at me! Once he calmed down we laughed and compared notes about the concert, seeing it through his eyes what I could only hear. I could only imagine. And dream.
The next day, I bought a beat up old guitar at the DI. I had no idea how to even play, but I knew it felt good when I strapped that thing on. MMMMmmmmm. And I started playing guitar. Didn't know where it would take me, but it felt good