"Life Without You": Stevie Ray Vaughan's Touching Tribute
Vaughan with "Charley Strat" (Photo: Stephen Galli)
"Life Without You" was written by Stevie Ray Vaughan and first appeared on the 1985 album Soul to Soul. A live version of the song is found on Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble's Live at Montreux 1982 & 1985 (a live recording was released on the 1986 album Live Alive, but was only included on vinyl copies).
The song is a slow ballad written in tribute of Vaughan's friend, Charley Wirz. Wirz founded Charley's Guitar Shop in Dallas in 1976, and worked on Vaughan's guitars early in the bluesman's career. He and Vaughan remained close friends until Wirz passed away in 1985.
Vaughan's most recognizable association with Wirz is the Stratocaster-style guitar Wirz assembled for the guitarist in 1983. Dubbed "The Charley Stratocaster," the guitar was an amalgamation of a white Strat-body with an ebony neck. Wirz installed three Danelectro lipstick pickups and an engraved neck heel plate with the words "To Stevie Ray Vaughan, more in '84." Vaughan performed and recorded with the guitar throughout his career. It can be heard on "Couldn't Stand the Weather," "Tin Pan Alley" and "Life Without You."
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