Jeff Beck and Stevie Ray Vaughan toured together in 1989, but five years before that, they met and played together for the first time at a convention for their shared label, CBS Records, in Honolulu.
In an interview shortly before the 1989 tour, Beck laughing told MTV, “I remember trying to contact Stevie to rehearse and he said ‘Oh, you rehearse do you? What the hell do you wanna rehearse for?’ ”
SRV conceded to a day or so of rehearsing, but mostly remembers having a blast together and Beck’s performance.
In an excerpt from Stevie Ray Vaughan Day By Day, Night After Night His Final Years, 1983 - 1990, Stevie recalls, “...we rehearsed a couple of times and smoked cigarettes and went crazy and then went and played and just had a blast! [Beck] did this solo in Hawaii that night that was unbelievable. It actually took me watching it on videotape for about a month to really grasp what he played. And whether he’s pulling our leg and he really knows what he’s doing before he does it, I don’t know. It doesn’t really matter. But he finished this solo and got this big grin on his face and stuck his hand in his pocket and stood there for a while like, ‘You can put that one in the bank.’ It was amazing.”
The video has been out there for awhile, but even if you’ve seen it before, you can’t see this performance of “Jeff’s Boogie” too many times. And if this is your first time seeing it, your day is about to get better.
Their respect for one another is also evident in this MTV interview clip.
Referring to their co-headlining 1989 The Fire Meets the Fury Tour, Beck told MTV, “We’ll probably work out a little spot at the end to cement both [performances] together which would be terrific.” Yeah, cementing SRV and Jeff Beck together was a pretty terrific idea.
As if that mental image wasn’t enough, at the final show of the 1989 tour, in a holy trinity of guitar godliness, Jeff Beck opened before Carlos Santana joined SRV on stage in Oakland playing a borrowed Stratocaster. Just let the Beck, Santana, Vaughan mental image sink in.
Two months after the end of that tour, just a few months before he died, Vaughan was featured on the February 1990 cover of Guitar Player together with his good friend, Jeff Beck.