In Step was reissued in 1999 as an expanded edition by Sony Epic Legacy with additional photographs and liner notes


I flew down to Austin the day before the session to prepare. Stevie Ray Vaughan's crew took me over to their band warehouse space where we would shoot the session. The setting was too modern and severe, which concerned me. I was asking about renting a canvas tarpaulin, when a crew member mentioned there had been house painters working (I presume at Stevie’s house). Sight unseen, I said yes, briefed the roadie and waited for chance to work her wondrous way.
I arrived next day for the session, the setting was perfect. The canvas backdrop was as if I had brought one of my own.
Outside, an overly jubilant Stevie arrives, gleaming in the Texas sun, accompanied by a pretty lady, his girlfriend Janna Lapidus. They are pulling clothes out of a car. Stevie sees me and holds up his soft guitar case, it's neck bent and wavering, “Had some trouble with Number One,” beams Stevie, jokingly.
The photo session with Stevie Ray Vaughan was like playing a long gig. The session was long, possibly one of my longest, but most productive. Having vamped through a few moves at the beginning of the session to warm up, I stopped shooting for a moment. Gesturing towards the rack of guitars, I asked, “Is that a 1928 National?”, “1929” Stevie says with a big grin, “does it work?” I ask again challengingly. Stevie Ray Vaughan picked that National off its stand, dropped to one knee to check the tuning and went into the Mississippi Delta. A shudder went through me and it still gives me goose-pimples whenever I recall that moment. We got the "In Step" cover.

We both knew we had the photograph, but we had much more to do that day, so we jammed on for hours.

Stevie is playing a 1929 National guitar that he claimed belonged to Blind Boy Fuller.

Stevie's Fender (Number One) resting on the studio couch. SX-70 Polaroid

I loved Stevie Ray Vaughan, although I only met him that once, and then again briefly backstage after a show in Nashville. I felt we had a simpatico, both having brothers who play blues guitar. My brother Michael played a 1928 National Resophonic at the time, which probably inspired the “In Step” photograph.
Unfortunately, all the colour and Polachrome slides perished when the Sony sprinkler system soaked the art office during a Los Angeles earth tremour. Fortunately, I still have the black and white negatives and a 4x5 chrome of the "Pride and Joy" picture.
The telephone rings in my New York loft studio on August 27, 1990, it's my friend Bill Johnson, the art director at CBS in Nashville. "Have you heard the news?", Bill asks me. I dropped the phone in disbelief. I phoned him back. Yes, it was true. Stevie Ray Vaughan was dead. There are many senseless events in this life. I can only trust in a higher power, that there really is a point to all this, but I will always miss Stevie as if he were family. We had a good time when we met. He said he wanted to be legendary like Jimi and the other fallen rock legends. He is and Stevie Ray Vaughan's music still rocks my house and always will.

Tommy Shannon and Stevie - SX-70 Polaroid

Stevie took great care to dress well for this picture, that was the "Pride and Joy" cover.

At last the DVD version has been released (2007)

Sony Lrgacy

Touch The Sky is a bootleg released by Capricorn.
Found this on the web.
Shame they didn't ask permission!

Sony/ Legacy, 2007

Publicity 8x10


Herewith some salvaged out-takes from the session
More photographs to be added



All site content and photographs copyright © Alan Messer 2012


No Unauthorised Downloading!
You are authorised to view these images for reference only.

Don’t even think about it, because I will know then Guido will know, and we will enter your dreams and we shall persecute you.
And then we will sue you. Capice!