On August 26, 1990, Stevie Ray Vaughan performed with Eric Clapton at Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, Wisconsin.
After the show, just after midnight on Aug. 27th, all of the musicians boarded four helicopters bound for Chicago, which were waiting on a nearby golf course. There were haze and fog with patches of low clouds. Despite the conditions, the pilots were instructed to fly over a 1000-foot ski hill. Vaughan, along with three members of Eric Clapton’s entourage (agent Bobby Brooks, bodyguard Nigel Browne, and assistant tour manager Colin Smythe), boarded the third of the four helicopters—a Bell 206B Jet Ranger—flying to Meigs Field. At about 12:50 am (CDT), the helicopter departed from an elevation of about 850 feet, veered to the left and crashed into the hill, approximately fifty feet from the summit.
All onboard, including the pilot, Jeff Brown, were killed instantly.
RIP Stevie, Bobby, Nigel, Colin, and Jeff. It just doesn’t seem like this happened 29 years ago. Do you remember where you were when you heard the news?