Twenty-Four years ago the world lost one of its great guitar players, and Jeff Healey lost a dear friend.

In the early hours of August 27th, 1990, Stevie Ray Vaughan and four others, died in a tragic helicopter crash. In the two days prior to the tragedy, Vaughan, Jeff, Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, Robert Cray and Jimmie Vaughan shared a bill and spent time playing and hanging out together at Alpine Valley in East Troy, Wisconsin.

JH-SRV 1987 © Mikki Simeunovitch

Since their first meeting in 1985, he and Vaughan had been good friends. Jeff’s pal, Cory Mihaluk convinced the then barely 19 year-old Healey to accept Albert Collins‘ invitation to jam with him and Stevie at Toronto’s legendary blues club, Albert’s Hall. Many, including Jeff saw this as a defining moment in his fledgling career…

© Cory Mihaluk 1985

Vaughan’s untimely death at the young age of 35 stunned Jeff and left a profound mark on his life. I remember him telling me that he knew exactly where the helicopter had crashed as he and Stevie had been walking there the night before… Over the last five years of his life, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jeff would play together a number of times and Jeff was proud to call him friend.

Rest easy Stevie.



Jeff Healey & Stevie Ray Vaughan performing ‘Look At Little Sister’ live at the CBC in 1987I was fortunate enough to have attended the taping of this performance and it was incredible! The fire between these two absolutely filled the room, the joy of peers pushing each other ever further. There were no egos in play at all…


Jeff Healey and Stevie Ray Vaughan at CBC Studios Toronto 1987