the riddle live

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theriddler14
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I've always wanted to see the riddle played live and to this day i am still unsuccessful in finding a live version on video. If so could anyone point me towards one?
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Big Bad Bill
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What is 'The Riddle' referring to? Is the track some sort political comment on the 'Pledge of Alligence'? The almost demonic voice, toward the end, reciting the pledge sounds somewhat sinister. Anyone have any opinion on this?
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b2
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Would be very nice to see this song played live.
I believe it is a very populare song among Steve's guitar playing fans :D
theriddler14
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I don't really understand the message Steve puts in the song but all i know is that it is one of his most complicated and technical songs. I think I am one of the few who put "For the Love of God" under "The Riddle", and would be very pleased to see it live
TheOtnip
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To be honest, my two least favorite Vai tracks ever are The Riddle and Essence :shock:

I don't know, but they just don't click for me. Everything else does Vai :)
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Big Bad Bill
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I really like the Lydian mysteriousness of 'The Riddle', but the Pledge of Allegiance thing at he end makes me uncomfortable for some reason. Perhaps its the juxtaposition of the phrases, "....with liberty and justice for all" and the possibly Black American voice shouting, "Let 'em go!" hinting at the social contradictions in American society. Perhaps Steve is saying that American, and indeed all of Western culture, is a collection of contradictory inequalities, and yet we all but turn a blind eye to them.

We Brits are brought up with a healthy streak of cynicism toward Nationalism, Patriotism etc so maybe that's why it feels uncomfortable for me.
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Samuele
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"The Riddle" is one of my favorite compositions ever. Actually, it was performed once.
Date: January 28, 1998
Where: Benefit Performance, Billboard Live (Hollywood, CA)

[A benefit concert to benefit music in schools and the children of Dean Markley's Rich Friedrich, who recently
passed away. Steve's set was about 30 minutes long, and included "The Riddle", performed onstage with a band for the
first time ever.]
What is it all about? Just go on reading.
__________

Excerpt from the May 1990 Guitar Player issue
http://web.archive.org/web/200607101643 ... erview.pdf

‘The Riddle’

More E Lydian - from the very first notes you set up an incredible tension between the A# and the B.

I know-I love that. I wrote just those first few notes, with the A# and the B over the E major triad, when I was 15 or 16. The bass sits on the E almost all the way through the tune, but you superimpose about a dozen different modes over it. I love that approach, although you’re not likely to hear it on the radio! It goes through Lydian, major, synthetic modes, b7s, whole-tone stuff and there are parts where it just goes off into space. But the Riddle is all melody. I tried to play fast in places, but nothing worked-I was compelled to play these melodies. It was really special to hear these things, out them on tape and then just listen back and go “Ah!” This is one of my favourite pieces on the record. Sure, some people say they’re never satisfied with what they do. I used to be like that, but I’m tired of being miserable. So I say, “I’ve tried my best, I’m going to enjoy it now.” It’s not worth it to walk around saying, “I hate everything that I do”-that’s bullshit.

[...]

How about your choice of spoken material?

The sound at the top was something that I recorded off the radio when I was about 15. It was an ad for the honourable Reverend Mohammed-something. He was pounding his hands on the desk, and the way he was speaking sounded so powerful to me at that age.

The song is built around my dream vision of people having had to fight in the past. I’ve never struck another human being, ever. So how would I approach the idea of having to go to war? I believe in peace, so would I die for that? Why do people fight for peace, or kill, as they would say, in the name of God? This song takes you through the emotional viewpoint of a person in that situation, why would they actually fight and kill when it’s the last thing they’d ever want to do? That’s the riddle."

__________

That should answer most of your questions, I think.
Last edited by Samuele on Sat Dec 15, 2007 9:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
theriddler14
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He's so cool 8) Just so down to earth you know?
Cleggy
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Thanks for that Samuele, its very rare to get a comprehensive answer sometimes. Some great quotes from steve too.
Incestuous_Monk
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Yes - thank you for that Samuele. More so for the pdf interview. I found it quite fascinating.

Its sad that Steve gets criticism in the press for being "out there" when he does an interview like that. So it's nice that he is so open about where the P&W songs came from. Although he still held back a little.

Thanks again.
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b2
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Incestuous_Monk wrote:Its sad that Steve gets criticism in the press for being "out there" ...
Yes when you are at the top, it is always blowing...

But here is Guitar World 1991 Readers Poll.
Don't mind the press, this is what we listeners was saying:


Image
Image

Also since I am a big Nuno Bettencourt fan I also show this:
Image

Best Pop, Steve Vai no 3 ... :wink:
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another virtuoso
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b2 wrote: Also since I am a big Nuno Bettencourt fan I also show this:
Image

Best Pop, Steve Vai no 3 ... :wink:
hahahaha :lol: :lol: :lol:
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StevieRayVai
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b2 wrote:
Incestuous_Monk wrote:Its sad that Steve gets criticism in the press for being "out there" ...



Image
Thats why my sn is what it is. The two greatest players ever.
Polymnie
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I love " The Riddle " and not only because we hear in French :
"Oh oui, j'aime j'aime sentir ton corps sur moi, j'aime caresser ta soyeuse… »
…"c'est l'amour qui l'a...":
:D

Steve Vai in interview say : Those are two French people I stuck in a room and had them make believe they were making love in French, enchante, oui, oui, oui." :lol:
http://web.archive.org/web/199611190725 ... sician.htm
To meditate, maybe simply : make love rather than the war!
A french lover :wink:
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Surfingalien
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Here you go: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-Wx2curvuw

Starts at 3:18 played for the most part.
Interesting that this is in the year 1985 when P&W was released in 1990
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