Janna Lapidus Leblanc
Four Years In Pictures; 1st Edition
A lot of Kiwi fans of Stevie Ray Vaughan know some of the story of how he fell in love with a Wellington girl and swept her away – he played here more than once in the mid-80s and visited too. Janna Lapidus was a teen when she met Vaughan, they would later appear in a New Zealand TV commercial together. She was a model and travelled internationally for her work – and to be with Stevie.
In the last four years of his life a lot happened for Vaughan – he finally hit down with some incredible solo albums building on his years of playing as sideman and leader. He had commercial success and critical acclaim, he was getting his life back in order too – with the decisions to quit drinking and drugs, to enter rehab, to aim for a more spiritually centred life. He also had met Janna and fallen in love.
Told, mostly through pictures, intimate, candid, this is their story, their shared story. In moving, thoughtful intro/essay pieces Lapidus Leblanc contextualises their romance, their pursuit of shared happiness. She explains the grief that she has encountered at the hands of Stevie’s brother, Jimmy. He clearly wants to rewrite the story and to no include her. This book is her chance to commemorate the special times she shared with Stevie; to in some sense legitimise their relationship and of course to memorialise it.
From soundcheck and gig photos through to vacation snaps and simple, end-of-the-day moments, a shared smile on a sofa, a gentle stroll, we get the bits and pieces of their life together with occasional words from Jana to help in framing this vital recall of their relationship.
It’s a coffee-table book, and one that fans of Stevie Ray Vaughan won’t want to be without.