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Stevie Ray Vaughan Breaks a String, Swaps Guitar (Almost) Without Missing a Beat

God bless roadies!

As any pro guitarist can attest, roadies are indispensable members of any band's touring operation—as illustrated in this brief video featuring the late, great Stevie Ray Vaughan and his roadie, Texas guitar whiz Rene Martinez.

Vaughan, who can be seen performing "Look at Little Sister" for an Austin City Limits special in 1989, breaks his B string just a few seconds into his guitar solo.

At the 3:02 mark in the video below, Vaughan motions to Martinez, who makes one of the smoothest Strat swaps we've ever seen.

Granted, Vaughan and Martinez picked a perfect time to make the swap (The guitar solo was finished, etc.), but SRV misses only one or two low-E-zone double stops during the exchange. While singing!

For more about Martinez, visit

NOTE: Unfortunately, we can't embed the best-possible version of this video. However, if you skip to 2:28, you'll find yourself in the thick of the action. Enjoy!

Damian Fanelli is the online managing editor at Guitar World and Guitar Aficionado. His New York-based band, the Blue Meanies, has toured the world and elsewhere. Fanelli, a former member of Brooklyn jump-blues/swing/rockabilly band the Gas House Gorillas and New York City instrumental surf-rock band Mister Neutron, also composes and records film soundtracks. He writes's The Next Bend column, which is dedicated to B-bender guitars and guitarists. His latest liner notes can be found in Sony/Legacy's Stevie Ray Vaughan: The Complete Epic Recordings Collection. Follow him on Facebook,Twitter and/or Instagram.