"Good luck with your band"

“Good luck with your band”

Here’s a cool document unearthed by a friend, a handwritten letter from Steve Vai himself. Steve’s comments date the page to the days of the Alcatrazz album Disturbing the Peace. I like to imagine him pausing from working up “Lighter Shade of Green” to jot this note.

Thanks to Chris Ingalls for sharing.

Sy Vy

Sy Vy

Here’s the monumental Steve Vai for Dean Markley Blue Steel strings. This is pulled from Guitar School, February 1997, dating it to the days of G3: Live in Concert joing album with Joe Satriani and Eric Johnson.


Light Without Heat

Here’s Steve Vai at his most Steve-Vai-like, touting the Ibanez Jem 7VWH. Steve was embarking on the Sex & Religion journey at the time this ad appeared in Guitar for the Practicing Musician, September 1993.

The National Guitar Museum, a traveling exhibit waiting to settle on a home, has an illustrious Board of Advisors featuring illustrious guitarists like Liona Boyd, Ritchie Blackmore, Steve Vai, and Steve Howe. Now that group is being joined by Tony Iommi. From the NGM site:

Iommi will add his insight and experience to the museum’s mission to promote and preserve the legacy of the guitar. While he is known worldwide for songs such as ‘Iron Man,’ ‘Paranoid,’ and ‘Heaven And Hell,’ he has also spent much of his career looking for ways to improve guitar technology and make the guitar more playable.

Keep up on the latest with NGM right here.



This Fernandes ad comes from Guitar Player, August 2001. In those days Robert Fripp and Adrian Belew were back in the saddle with King Crimson, having released The ConstruKction of Light the previous year. Fellow endorser Reeves Gabrels was into his post-Bowie solo career, Ulysses (Della Notte) being his most recent issue.

The text also cites Steve Vai, The Edge, and Steve Lukather as Fernandes Sustainer users.

From the Rooney Archive

Steve Vai was six years old on 6/6/66

Here’s a DiMarzio ad that was running in early ’93. The copy (complete with reference to Sex & Religion‘s working title, Light Without Heat) appears identical to another version of the ad that also appeared around that time. This variation was taken from Guitar World, February 1993.

Steve Vai recently shared with The Quietus his 13 favorite albums. Not surprisingly, the list is an eclectic assortment including records by Sly & The Family Stone, Tom Waits, and Deep Purple. Vai says this about Captain Beefheart’s Trout Mask Replica, though it could be applied to listening in general:

We deprive ourselves the opportunity of appreciating something that is artistic, by making certain claims and being dogmatic or snobbish about it.

Check out the entire list at The Quietus.

Right here.

Steve Vai is back in the press with the pending release of his new album The Story of Light. You can read a new interview with Mr. Vai at Jam Magazine. The article sheds fresh light on old topics, such as Vai’s stepping into high profile guitar slots vacated by the likes of Eddie Van Halen and Yngwie Malmsteen:

The key to dealing with the long shadows they cast was the simple fact I was fiercely confident in my abilities. My style … was my own little secret. I figured that if I was going to go out into the world and play, I had to keep real what was important to me.

Also discussed is the guitarist’s other role as composer:

I was recently commissioned to write a piece of music for the 2013 Stravinsky Festival (which is) happening on the 100th anniversary of the Rite of Spring performance. The concept revolves around seeing if someone can compose a piece of music that is as jarring as Stravinsky’s legendary work. It’s virtually impossible to do that today, but how could I turn something like that down?

Read much more at Jam.

Right here.


Steve Vai’s first studio album since 2005′s Real Illusions: Reflections is in the wings. The Story of Light is available for pre-order now at Vai’s website where you can also check out the track “Gravity Storm.” The above video of Steve working on “Weeping China Doll” has been around for a bit, but provides an interesting window into his creative process.

Go to Steve’s official site for the latest.

Right here.


That’s certainly a lot of firepower for one ad. This is Ibanez saying, “have we shown you our ridiculous stable of endorsers?” and commemorating “The Ibanez Axe Attack,” a concert held in conjunction with Winter NAMM ’93. I find no evidence that anything similarly branded has been held since.

It’s rather absurd to heap Steve Vai under “et al.,” but he doesn’t seem to be pictured. Those that are listed and pictured: Paul Gilbert, Joe Satriani, Shawn Lane, Alex Skolnick, Andy Timmons, and Reb Beach, along with the apparent rhythm section of Gerald Veasley and Simon Phillips. Someone played an arpeggio.

Taken from Guitar for the Practicing Musician, May 1993.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 28 other followers