Bowie and SRV's Golden Year

Categories: Music

On April 27, 1983, David Bowie was in Las Colinas rehearsing songs for his "Serious Moonlight" tour, in support of his Let's Dance album. Joining him was that hit record's lead guitarist: Oak Cliff's Stevie Ray Vaughan, who was only two months away from releasing his own debut, Texas Flood, which had been recorded in two days in 1982 with Stevie Ray's band Double Trouble.

Bowie wanted -- and expected Vaughan -- to join him on the "Serious Moonlight" tour. Vaughan said no, with good reason: "We [Double Trouble] were supposed to open up all the shows, and [Bowie] was supposed to be wanting to have us in that situation to help us out," Vaughan told an interviewer in 1985. "And as it turned out, I was supposed to quit [Double Trouble] and not have anything to do with them, not do interviews or anything. And, I’m sorry, I’ve worked for that a long time. Fame and this big tour is really not that important." Vaughan was replaced with Earl Slick.

Bootlegs of those Las Colinas sessions -- pristine, damned near, taken straight from the soundboard -- have circulated for years. There are some 30 songs total, some from Let's Dance but most of them Bowie classics on which Vaughan is featured: "Fashion," "Heroes," "Scary Monsters," "Young Americans," "Rebel, Rebel" and "Life on Mars," among others. Today, the first 19 songs from those sessions, including Who and Velvet Underground covers, are being made available here -- each as a separate .MP3 file, each just a right click away from landing a permanent home on your hard drive and iPod. So, let's dance. --Robert Wilonsky

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