Discover Austin: The Stevie Ray Vaughan Statue - Episode 20
We're back in Austin for this episode, highlighting the Stevie Ray Vaughan statue that stands near downtown along the shore of Lady Bird Lake. If you prefer to read, the video transcript can be found below the video. Also, you can watch additional Discover Austin episodes on our YouTube page. Click that subscribe button so you don't miss our latest episodes.
Other Discover Austin topics mentioned in this video: Lady Bird Lake
The Stevie Ray Vaughan statue is a tribute to the great guitarist who lived in Austin. Dedicated on November 21, 1993, the statue is made of bronze and stands in at eight feet tall.
The design by sculptor Ralph Helmick was selected by Stevie Ray’s brother and mother from a pool of about 30 different designs. Helmick intended for the statue to be a memorial to the man and not his music, stating that Stevie Ray’s music speaks for itself. Given that, the statue is designed to show that Stevie Ray was always friendly and approachable. Instead of playing his guitar, the statue shows him in more of a meditative pose but does give a guitar-playing nod with the shadow. He grew up in the Dallas area but moved to Austin where he was a big part of the live music community. Stevie Ray held several concerts about 100 yards from the location of the statue, which, by the way, wasn’t the originally intended location. However, because the statue has a hat, the original spot would have left his face in a shadow most of the time. When Austin gets heavy rain, Lady Bird Lake can flood the open land around the statue occasionally making it look like Stevie Ray is walking on water which is ironic because one of his bigger albums was entitled Texas Flood. Stevie Ray Vaughan died on August 27, 1990 in a helicopter accident and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015.
The Stevie Ray statue is in a prime, easily accessible location so as you visit downtown, be sure to take a few minutes to stop by. I’m Craig Smyser, thanks for joining me for this episode of Discover Austin.