After a recent post about Steve Vai in the Cyberfret.com Guitar Forums, I thought I would dig out and share a few pieces of guitar history that I own.
Very Quick Steve Via History
First a very quick history for those not familiar with guitar virtuoso Steve Vai. He started his career as a transcriber for Frank Zappa in the early 1980’s. While attending Berklee College of Music in Boston, he sent a transcription he had done to Frank of one of Zappa’s Songs.
To make a long story short…Zappa after seeing Vai’s talent hired him as a transcriptionist, and then as a member of his band. Steve Vai released his first solo album “Flex-able” in 1984 as an independent release.
After leaving Zappa’s band he built his reputation in the mid to late 1980’s playing with Alcatrazz (replacing Yngwie Malmsteen), David Lee Roth (Van Halen lead singer), and Whitesnake.
And then in 1990 released his 2nd solo album “Passion and Warfare”. Steve Vai has continued to have a very successful career to this day receiving to date 3 Grammy Awards, and selling over 15 million records.
Some Stevie Vai Stuff I have…
The Frank Zappa Guitar Book
In 1982 while working for Frank Zappa as a transcriber, a book was published with those transcriptions. It was called “The Frank Zappa Guitar Book”. There is some pretty insane notation in this book. I am not sure how many people actually used this book to learn how to play some Zappa tunes, and how many bought the book because is looks cool. I bought this when it came out because it looked cool 🙂
Steve Vai “Flexable” Album
I remember having to special order this one back in 1984.
Guitar Player Magazine – October 1984
While the October 1984 issue of Guitar Player Magazine was historic for it’s Stevie Ray Vaughan cover story…it’s the Steve Vai part that I am sharing here.
Just after the Flexable album was released, Guitar Player magazine hired Steve Vai to do some transcriptions for them. And the very first transcription for the series was his own “Attitude Song” from Flexable. Included in the magazine was a tear out flimsy plastic record of the song. I could not locate that, but here is the magazine.
Steve Vai “Passion and Warfare” Album
This one came out during the time I was attending Berklee College of music. I bought this at Tower Records right near the school. It was right before Tower Records made the switch to selling mostly CDs…So I have it on record.
I remember once as I was walking in front of one of the college buildings, there was Steve strolling down the street. He must have been in town for a visit.
Hope you enjoyed my little trip down Steve Vai memory lane 🙂