Have you ever been struck by lightning? You know those huge lightning strikes that stretch across the sky, branching in every direction and electrifying the entire cloudbank. Well, there was such an event that occurred around, say 1983 through 1988, and the cloud was Austin, Texas. Everyone in the the community was electrified, and some of us were hit with the full force of the bolt, blasted across the sky in a chaos of excitement and power. Your name was on a hundred lips, and your mouth spoke a litany of names that you belonged to and belonged to you. These faces were everywhere you looked, everywhere you went, each having a fascinating history and connected to the whole, your friend at your ear always whispering the significance of the personage that has appeared before you. And we danced, dancing aggressively, in a frenzy, around the maypole or in a waltz, but always dancing, dancing to the music that was our common heartbeat, that kept the blood pulsing through our veins. Sleep came when necessary, usually in the morning, when the chaos was least, and you could relax for a while knowing you weren’t missing too much. But something was always happening. You danced at work, in the park, in the club, coming on the dancefloor, holding the waist of the beauty in front of you while someone from behind you held your waist and the conga line increased its tempo until everyone was a human snake running ’round the Coliseum. On and on it went, with the magicians on stage being the audience and the crowd being the spectacle, the lyrics of the song telling your story. The intimacy was incredibly intense, making the body shiver with all the desire and possibilities, wanted and unwanted.
The force of the bolt climaxes, catapulting you into pure consciousness, beyond the concept of planet, you float in empty space. In darkness you hear the far off applause for your accomplishment. Eventually you awaken, thousands of miles away, on a sidewalk by a foreign road, a burnt cinder. Now, decades later, of all the millions of events, places, people and experiences that were there, only one mythic name does the World remember: Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Oil on Canvas 36″ x 48″