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Steve Vai

Biography

Six-string wizard Steve Vai, together with his onetime instructor Joe Satriani, collection the typical for rock acoustic guitar virtuosity within the ’80s. Given birth to on June 6, 1960, and elevated in Carle Place, NY, Vai became thinking about your guitar via such famous performers as Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and Alice Cooper as an adolescent and, upon beginning high school, required lessons with a mature player from the institution, Joe Satriani. Playing in a number of local rings, Vai quickly found on the device, and by age 18 was participating in the renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston. As students there, Vai transcribed many of Frank Zappa’s most officially challenging compositions for electric guitar, and even delivered a copy of 1 such transcription, “Dark Web page,” to Zappa himself. Zappa was therefore impressed using the youthful guitarist that upon conference him, he asked Vai to become listed on his music group. Subsequently, Vai toured the planet with Zappa (offering Vai the nicknames “Stunt Guitarist” and “Small Italian Virtuoso”) and performed on such albums as 1981’s Tinsel City Rebellion and you also Are EVERYTHING YOU Is, 1982’s Dispatch Arriving Too Later, 1983’s Guy from Utopia, plus 1984’s Them or Us and Thing-Fish, before departing to set from his own. To begin with was a set of self-financed, documented, and released single albums in 1984, Flex-Able and Flex-Able Leftovers, both which showcased Vai’s electric guitar playing and songwriting abilities, yet had been still heavily inspired by Zappa. With Truck Halen extremely popular by the middle-’80s because of their massive hard rock and roll/pop crossover achievement, Vai changed Yngwie Malmsteen within a likewise styled outfit known as Alcatrazz (which highlighted previous Rainbow vocalist Graham Bonnett), playing on the overlooked 1985 discharge Disturbing the Tranquility. Exactly the same season, Vai produced a cameo appearance within the film Crossroads (playing the Devil’s guitarist and shredding apart within a electric guitar duel with Ralph Macchio) and got an invitation from his friend/bass expert Billy Sheehan to test for your guitar place in vocalist David Lee Roth’s single band (Roth experienced just break up from Vehicle Halen), and finally got the gig. The debut launch from Roth and his stellar single music group, Eat ‘Em and Smile, found its way to 1986 and continued to become among the year’s best hard rock produces. Both Vai and Sheehan had been catapulted to superstardom because of the instrumental talents, because they required best honors in various acoustic guitar magazines for a long time afterward. But even though quartet demonstrated great guarantee, Sheehan jumped dispatch soon after their sophomore recording, Skyscraper, was released in 1988. Even though recording was even more pop-based than its forerunner, it became another sizable strike — with Vai gaining a co-producing credit in the record alongside Roth. Exactly the same calendar year, Vai released his own type of snazzy guitars, the Jem 777 series, via the Ibanez firm. Following the ensuing tour with Roth covered up in past due 1988, it had been Vai’s use jump ship. Furthermore to focusing on another single record, he was asked to become listed on up with chart-topping pop-metallists Whitesnake, an give he recognized. His only record with Whitesnake, Slide from the Tongue, was released in 1989, as was his third single record overall, Interest and Warfare, a calendar year later. The generally instrumental record was predicated on dreams that Vai experienced as an adolescent, and it became a big hit, earning platinum qualification and solidifying Vai’s standing up among the best guitarists of your day. It had been also for this period that Vai produced a seven-string acoustic guitar through Ibanez. Even though device didn’t capture on initially, it could by the middle- to past due ’90s, once the guitarists in such metallic functions as Korn and Limp Bizkit would make use of the device to accomplish super-low tunings. After a protracted hiatus, Vai created his first standard rock-band (known as…VAI) alongside newcomer Devin Townsend on vocals, T.M. Stevens on bass, and Terry Bozzio on drums — providing their only recording in 1993, Sex & Religious beliefs. When the recording became a disappointment both critically and commercially, Vai came back to all-instrumental use the 1995 EP Alien Like Secrets. For the rest from the 10 years, Vai continuing to issue single produces, including 1996’s Fireplace Backyard, 1998’s Flex-Able Leftovers (a re-release of his longer out of print out second single record, with added monitors), and 1999’s The Ultra Area. It had been also through the past due ’90s that Vai and Satriani reunited for an annual co-headlining tour (using a different third musician added every year), known as G3, unleashing a live record, G3: Reside in Concert, in 1997. The first 21st century noticed a flurry of produces from Vai, including a compilation of instrumentals, The 7th Melody: Enchanting Acoustic guitar Melodies Archive, in 2000, and his first full-length live launch, Alive within an Ultra Globe, in 2001, in addition to his mammoth career-encompassing ten-disc package set THE TRICK Jewel Package. In 2002 he gathered many pieces that he previously contributed to movies over time, including the acoustic guitar duel from Crossroads as well as the theme to Expenses and Ted’s Bogus Trip, and place them together inside a 40-monitor collection known as The Elusive Light and Audio, Vol. 1. Some compilations came following, and following a five-year hiatus from your studio, Vai came back in 2005 with Actual Illusions: Reflections. A tour using the Metropole Orchestra adopted and he released an ambitious dual live arranged documenting his shows, titled Sound Ideas, Vols. 1-2, in 2007. This year 2010, he performed using the North Netherlands Orchestra, debuting many fresh compositions that fused rock and roll music with orchestral preparations, dubbed the “Evo Period.” Vai also produced many television appearances this year 2010, performing over the Tonight Display and on American Idol with Mary J. Blige, Orianthi, Travis Barker, Ron Good, Orianthi, and Randy Jackson. In 2012, 8th studio record THE STORYPLOT of Light appeared, continuing the brand new age group themes first help with on True Illusions: Reflections, and including unforeseen twists like a rootsy blues cover supported by a complete gospel choir and a duet with Aimee Mann. In 2015, Vai authorized with Sony/Legacy; his 1st album for the label was Stillness in Motion: Vai Reside in L.A., a saving of an Oct 2012 concert from the guitarist. Over time, Vai offers guested on countless albums by additional performers, including Gregg Bissonette’s self-titled debut and Submarine, Alice Cooper’s Hey Stoopid, Randy Coven’s Funk Me Sensitive, Al di Meola’s Infinite Desire, Open public Picture Ltd.’s Recording, Joe Jackson’s Symphony 1, and Billy Sheehan’s Compression, and in addition produces from Mike Stern, Ozzy, and Meats Loaf. He is able to also be entirely on such extra Zappa produces as Jazz from Hell, Shut Up ‘n Play Yer Acoustic guitar, Acoustic guitar, and on many volumes from the ongoing You Can’t DO THIS on Stage Anymore series as well as the live tribute disk Zappa’s Universe. As though his busy plan weren’t complete plenty of, Vai pursued a lifelong curiosity when he started harvesting honey among five bee colonies within the garden of his house.

Quick Facts


Full Name Steve Vai
Height 1.83 m
Profession Guitarist, Actor, Singer, Beekeeper, Film producer, Music Producer, Philanthropist, Songwriter, Film Score Composer
Education Berklee College of Music
Nationality American
Spouse Pia Maiocco
Children Fire Vai, Julian Angel Vai
Parents Theresa Vai, John Vai
Siblings Michael Vai
Awards Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance, Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album
Music Groups Whitesnake, Alcatrazz
Music Songs For the Love of God, Tender Surrender, Bad Horsie, Building The Church, Liberty, The Audience Is Listening, The Crying Machine, Bangkok, Erotic Nightmares, Die to Live, Whispering a Prayer, The Attitude Song, Blue Powder, Gravity Storm, Now We Run, In My Dreams With You, Down Deep Into the Pain, Salamanders in the Sun, Fire Garden Suite, Freak Show Excess, Weeping China Doll, Touching Tongues, Ballerina 12/24, Little Alligator, You're Here, Ya-Yo Gakk, Highway Star, Boston Rain Melody, Greasy Kid's Stuff, Lotus Feet, Melissa's Garden, Windows to The Soul
Albums Passion and Warfare, Modern Primitive, Where the Wild Things Are, Flex-Able, Fire Garden, Sex & Religion, The Ultra Zone, The Story of Light, Real Illusions: Reflections, Naked Tracks, Stillness in Motion: Vai Live in L.A., G3: Live in Tokyo, The Secret Jewel Box, Alive in an Ultra World, G3: Rockin' in the Free World, Crossroads, Flex-Able Leftovers, Alien Love Secrets, Sound Theories Vol. I & II, G3: Live in Concert, The Seventh Song, The Elusive Light and Sound, Vol. 1, G3: Live in Denver, Mystery Tracks – Archives Vol. 3, Live in London, Bad Squad, Steve Vai Presents - Western Vacation, X-Ray, Archives Vol. 2 – Original Recordings of Frank Zappa, The Infinite Steve Vai: An Anthology, FZ Original Recordings; Steve Vai Archives, Vol. 2, Original Album Classics, Naked Tracks Vol. 6, Naked Tracks Vol. 7, Make a Noise, Passion And Warfare/Sex And Religion, Naked Tracks Vol. 5 (The Ultra Zone / Real Illusions - Mixes With No Lead Guitar), Naked Tracks Vol. 3 (Fire Garden / Plus - Mixes With No Lead Guitar), Naked Tracks Vol. 4 (Alive in an Ultra World / Plus - Mixes With No Lead Guitar), Piano Reductions Vol. 1 - Performed by Mike Keneally, Naked Tracks Vol. 2 (Alien Love Secrets / Sex & Religion - Mixes With No Lead Guitar), Various Mysteries Archives Vol. 3.5
Movies Crossroads, PCU, Live at the Astoria, London, Aurora Borealis, Crazy, Rock Prophecies, Lemmy, The Torture Never Stops, Summer 82 When Zappa Came To Sicily, Hired Gun, G3: Live in Concert, G3: Live in Denver, G3: Live in Tokyo, Steve Vai: Visual Sound Theories, Tris Imboden: Latin Rock for Gringos, Steve Vai: Where the Wild Things Are


  • Facts
  • Filmography
  • Awards
  • Salaries
  • Quotes
  • Trademarks
  • Pictures

#Fact
1 48th Annual Grammys [February 2006]
2 Releases his new album "Real Illusions: Reflections". [February 2005]
3 (Late 2004) Putting the finishing touches on his new album, "Real Illusions: Reflections", which will be out in stores on February 22, 2005.
4 For director John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars (2001) soundtrack, music producer Bruce Robb called upon his talent, along with some other famous rock musician friends -- Anthrax, Guns N' Roses' guitarists Buckethead and Robin Finck, and Elliot Easton (formerly of The Cars). The results yielded an award-winning soundtrack, and Vai can been seen in the DVD behind-the-scenes bonus feature filmed while recording in Robb's Cherokee Studios.
5 In the movie Crossroads (1986), he plays a demonic rock guitarist who has a final "cutting-heads" guitar showdown with Ralph Macchio. Both Vai and Macchio were born and raised on Long Island, New York.
6 Studied at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.
7 Recieved a Grammy nomination in the category of "Best Instrumental Rock Performance" in December of 2005 for his song "Lotus Feet" from the album "Real Illusions: Reflections"
8 Also has a younger son, name Fire.
9 Son's name is Julian Angel Vai.
10 Was taught the guitar by guitarist Joe Satriani.
11 Keeps bees as a hobby; harvested over 900 pounds of honey in 2001.
12 He appears on a number of Frank Zappa albums from the 1980s. He also made a cameo appearance in the movie Crossroads (1986).
13 Vai wrote two tracks on the soundtrack, plus he wrote and performed every air guitar solo for Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey (1991).


Soundtrack

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
One Hit Wonderland 2013 TV Series documentary writer - 1 episode
#1 Cheerleader Camp 2010 Video performer: "Bad Horse Naked", "Viv Woman" / producer: "Bad Horse Naked", "Viv Woman" / writer: "Bad Horse Naked", "Viv Woman"
Rock Bottom: From Hell to Redemption 2007 Documentary performer: "Junkie" / writer: "Junkie"
Rumble Roses XX 2006 Video Game lyrics: "Yankee Rose" / music: "Yankee Rose"
Air Guitar Nation 2006 Documentary writer: "Yankee Rose"
Rumble Roses 2004 Video Game writer: "Yankee Rose"
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City 2002 Video Game lyrics: "Yankee Rose" - as S. Vai / writer: "God Blessed Video" - as S. Vai
Encino Man 1992 performer: "Drive the Hell Out of Here" / writer: "Drive the Hell Out of Here"
Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey 1991 performer: "THE REAPER", "THE REAPER RAP" / producer: "THE REAPER", "THE REAPER RAP" / writer: "THE REAPER", "THE REAPER RAP"
Doogie Howser, M.D. 1990 TV Series performer - 1 episode
Less Than Zero 1987 lyrics: "Bump 'N Grind" / music: "Bump 'N Grind"
Dudes 1987 performer: "Amazing Grace"
Moonlighting 1986 TV Series writer - 1 episode
Crossroads 1986 performer: "BUTLER'S BAG", "HEAD CUTTIN' DUEL", "EUGENE'S TRICK BAG" / writer: "BUTLER'S BAG", "HEAD CUTTIN' DUEL", "EUGENE'S TRICK BAG"
David Lee Roth 1986 Video short writer: "Yankee Rose", "Goin' Crazy"

Actor

Actor

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Retinal Circus 2013 Video Narrator
Steve Vai: Live from Club Nokia 2012 TV Movie
Metalocalypse 2009 TV Series Damien Cornickelson
Tattooed 2008 Guitarist
Crazy 2008/II Hank Williams
Crossroads 1986 Jack Butler

Composer

Composer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
G3 Live in Denver 2004 Video documentary
Steve Vai: Live at the Astoria London 2003 Video
G3 Live in Concert 1996 Video documentary
Steve Vai: Alien Love Secrets 1995 Video short
PCU 1994

Music Department

Music Department

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Halo 2 2004 Video Game musician: guitar
Ghosts of Mars 2001 musician: guitar - uncredited
Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey 1991 composer: additional music

Producer

Producer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Where the Wild Things Are 2009 Video executive producer
Crazy 2008/II executive producer
Steve Vai: Live at the Astoria London 2003 Video producer

Thanks

Thanks

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet 2012 Documentary special thanks
Tommy Emmanuel: Center Stage 2008 TV Movie special thanks

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Do You Think I'm a Joke? Documentary filming Himself
Dude! Where's My Music? Documentary post-production Himself
Hired Gun 2016 Documentary Himself
Hell's Kitchen 2016 TV Series Himself - Guitarist
The Ritchie Blackmore Story 2015 Documentary Himself
Pop Wrapped TV 2015 TV Series documentary
Sharon Isbin: Troubadour 2014 Documentary Himself - interviewee / guitarist
Summer '82: When Zappa Came to Sicily 2014 Documentary Steve Vai
Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet 2012 Documentary Himself
27th Annual NAMM/TEC Les Paul Award Tribute honoring Steve Vai 2012 Short Himself
My First Guitar 2011 Documentary Himself
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno 1993-2010 TV Series Himself - Guest Musician / Himself
I'm in a Rock 'n' Roll Band 2010 TV Mini-Series documentary
American Idol 2010 TV Series
Lemmy 2010 Documentary Himself
Orianthi and Steve Vai: Highly Strung 2010 Video short Himself
That Metal Show 2009 TV Series Himself - Guest
Where the Wild Things Are 2009 Video Himself
Rock Prophecies 2009 Documentary
The Story of the Guitar 2008 TV Series documentary Himself
Zappa Plays Zappa 2007 Video Himself
G3 Live in Tokyo 2005 Video Himself
Score!: An Interview with Guitarist Steve Vai 2005 Video short Himself - Guest
G3 Live in Denver 2004 Video documentary Himself
Steve Vai: Live at the Astoria London 2003 Video Himself
The 44th Annual Grammy Awards 2002 TV Special Himself
Scoring Ghosts of Mars 2001 Video documentary short Himself
The 43rd Annual Grammy Awards 2001 TV Special Himself
The Genius of Lenny Breau 1999 Documentary
G3 Live in Concert 1996 Video documentary Himself
Steve Vai: Alien Love Secrets 1995 Video short Himself
Zappa's Universe 1993 Video Himself - Guitar
Ein Leben als Extravaganza - Das Genie Frank Zappa 1993 TV Movie documentary Himself
Joe Satriani: The Satch Tapes 1993 Video Himself
Late Night with David Letterman 1990-1992 TV Series Himself
Leyendas de la guitarra 1991 TV Movie documentary Himself
Guitar 1991 Video documentary Steve Vai
Hard 'N Heavy Volume 10 1991 Video documentary Himself - Whitesnake
Metalhead Video Magazine Volume 2 1990 Video documentary Himself
Hard 'N Heavy Volume 11 1990 Video documentary Himself
Hard 'N Heavy Volume 2 1989 Video Himself
Video from Hell 1985 Video Himself
The Dub Room Special! 1984 Video Himself

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