Eric Gales once asked Stevie Ray Vaughan for an autograph – only for the blues legend to ask for one back
Eric Gales has opened up about meeting his guitar hero Stevie Ray Vaughan at 15 years old and the “very intense” jamming session that ensued.
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Speaking in a new interview with Total Guitar, Gales details his encounter with the blues legend early on in his career and how the experience remains a precious memory for him decades down the road.
“I was lucky enough to meet Stevie back when I was recording demos for my first record,” Gales says.
“I remember he was clean at the time. I told him my name was Eric Gales and he said, ‘I’m very aware of who you are because the industry has been buzzing about you!’ So we sat down and jammed, and he said to me, ‘Dude, you are an awesome guitar player!’”
“I was only 15 years old at the time. It was really intense, man!” Gales adds. “There were two acoustic guitars and we just had fun playing Riviera Paradise together.”
“Honestly, I had been studying the dude note-for-note way before that meeting. So it all came full-circle that day. It wasn’t about asking a whole lot of questions. I was just in awe of one of my heroes as we played together and he was nice enough to say ‘Man, you got it!’ when we finished.”
Gales also revealed that he asked Vaughan for an autograph at the end of it all, only for the latter to respond in what might just be the coolest way possible.
“He said, ‘Only if you sign one for me first!’ Through the years, I lost it. And though I don’t know where that piece of paper is, I will never ever forget it. That was such an intense meeting,” Gales recalls.
“I’ve always counted him, Robin Trower, and Eric Johnson as my biggest influences. So whenever I’ve run across these people, it’s always blown my mind. And I have to say, all three of those players are known for their killer tones, but Stevie’s could be the greatest of all time. I will never forget that day we met!”
Earlier this year, Eric Gales publicly invited the guitar universe’s resident heart-throb John Mayer to play with him onstage. To date, it’s unclear if there are any imminent plans for the two blues virtuosos to meet, but we live in hope.
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