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Watch Stevie Ray Vaughan Tear it Up at the “Biggest Party In History”

In the summer of 1989, Miller Lite – desperate to revive their flagging sales – decided to hold something it called the "Biggest Party in History."

Held primarily in Houston and Dallas, Texas, the festivities attracted hundreds of thousands of attendees, who braved (opens in new tab) the boiling summer heat to enjoy a bill that was headlined by The Who, but also featured Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble.

A portion of Vaughan's September 3 set at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas – his second of two performances at the festival – can be seen above.

The video begins as Vaughan and co. are ripping their way through their opening number (opens in new tab), "The House Is Rockin,'" and captures "Mary Had a Little Lamb" before sadly cutting out in the middle of "Pride and Joy."

Though the quality of the footage isn't superb, it's good enough to capture the incredible form Vaughan was in at the time. Sober and riding the success of his then-recently released fourth album, In Step, Vaughan and his band are simply on fire. 

Vaughan's extended "Mary Had a Little Lamb" solo in particular – with its fluidity, speed, and Texas-sized bends – is a treat.

Sadly, the "Biggest Party in History" would be one of Vaughan's final performances in his home city of Dallas before he was killed in a helicopter crash in Wisconsin the following year. He was just 35 years old. 

Jackson Maxwell
Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com and GuitarPlayer.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.