Music Aficionado recently spoke with guitar legend Steve Vai, who revealed what stand out as his best and worst gigs ever. Following is an excerpt from Vai’s candid revelations:
“I’ve had some real tankers, but the one show that sticks out was in Italy. Actually, it was two separate gigs in a row, a couple of decades ago. This was when they were just starting to understand how to regulate the voltage that went into your equipment. Now that stuff’s easy to deal with—you have voltage regulators and you can keep everything consistent and level—but they didn’t have these things at the time, and it could be a problem. We got to Italy and discovered that the voltage was so erratic that it created this intermittent devaluation of the wattage of my amplifiers while I was playing.
We noticed the problem during soundcheck, but we couldn’t figure out how to deal with it or fix it. The weird thing was, it affected my equipment and a few of the other people in the band, but not everything. So it created a real mess. It was like a perfect storm of technical crap.
I went on stage knowing this could be an issue, but again, I thought, ‘The show must go on.’ I would play, and for about 10 seconds the sound would be great, but then the power would go down and with it went my sound level by about half. Instead of sounding full and powerful, it sounded like a deranged mosquito. It went back and forth like this all night. Notes wouldn’t come out right or they would be buried. It was awful. The audience could tell something was up—they were like, ‘What the fuck was going on?’ At one point, I walked off stage while people tried to fix it, but nothing worked. We just couldn’t find a solution to the problem.
It was a nightmare, and I felt terrible. I’ve had bad shows before, but this was like a rat gnawing at my face. I had to tell the audience, ‘Hey, technical problems.’ I got through it, but at the end of the night, I wanted to go up to everybody and give them their money back. I wanted to kiss their asses and apologize.
This continued the second night. During soundcheck, it wasn’t so bad, so I thought we might be OK, but once the show started, it went nuts again. Same thing happened. Your heart just sinks… really, really low. People come to the show to hear Steve Vai playing guitar, and they’re not getting what it should be. I’m good at pushing through stuff, but this was too much. It was embarrassing. And, of course, I was crucified in the press, but there was nothing I could do.
Like I said, I’ve had bad gigs, a few real lulus. We all have ’em. It’s a case-by-case basis. But those shows in Italy were really bad. You think back and you go, ‘Shit man, that really sucked.'”
Go to this location for a recap of Vai’s best gig ever.
Vai recently posted the following message to his fans:
“Hey Folks, Steve here. My friend and brilliant composer, Jason Becker, is working on a new record and he is raising funds through this campaign through this link. Jason is a living phenomenon. As many of you know he is stricken with Lou Gehrig disease and can virtually only move his eyes. His kind heart, inspired inner musical ear and gargantuan vision and drive sets him apart.
He has given the world an example of the potential of the human spirit’s ability to flower under the most debilitating of situations. I’m honored to support his new work. Every note he writes and records is a testament to the powerful creative impulses of the universe.”
Jason Becker is one of the world’s most precious talents and true warriors. Becker has written a full album of amazing music to be performed and recorded by many of his peers.This album will comprise of a few compositions that have been waiting for this moment to be recorded, to many new pieces recently written. To accomplish this, Jason needs your support. Be a part of this album.
Click here to be on #TeamBecker.
Source: BraveWords – News