Steve Vai started guitar inspired by some of his influences being Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and Alice cooper, and he decided to take up guitar in high school and took lessons off an older player in his school, Joe Satriani! By the time he reached 18 he attended the world famous Berklee college of music in Boston, USA and composed some of Frank Zappa’s most complex pieces. Zappa was so impressed, he invited Vai to join his band. He recorded quite a few albums with him then inevitably left to write his own albums in 1984, Flex-Able and Flex-Able Leftovers, both of which showcased Vai’s guitar playing and songwriting talents, yet were still heavily influenced by Zappa. On then came a new band for Vai called Alcatrazz in which he replaced Yngwie Malmsteen, then went on to make a cameo appearance in the air guitar classic film ”Crossroads”. By 1986 Vai was quite popular in the guitar world, and was approached by virtuoso bassist and friend Billy Sheehan to join David Lee Roth’s band. Vai accepted and they recorded the album ”Eat ‘Em and Smile”. That album did very well and made Sheehan and Vai a lot more well known.
Vai recorded another album with Roth while releasing his signature line of guitars the ”Jem 777 series” via the Ibanez company. After touring with Roth, Vai then went on to join pop-metallers Whitesnake recording one album while releasing his own album, the hit ”Passion and warfare”. Also around this time, Vai created a 7 string guitar with Ibanez. Vai went to start his own band simply called ‘Vai’ but didn’t receive much success. He went on to record a burst of solo albums and also decided to form G3 with him and Joe Satriani touring together with a special guest guitarist every year. They have since released G3 DVDs and a live album. As we reached the 21st century Vai yet again released a flurry of releases including a box set and a compilation disk containing scores he composed for films.
All this as well as appearing as a guest guitarist on countless other artists songs, including Alice Cooper and Billy Sheehan, he certainly makes himself busy. Oh and on a lighter note – Vai harvests honey among five bee colonies in the backyard of his home…awesome!!!
Steve Vai – we salute you