RiffGod, Thanks for your note. Perhaps a few things may help better your understanding of why the box set was/is being released the way it is. Let me address your thoughts point-by-point:
I hate to say it, but so far
, I'm a bit disappointed with the Box Set.Impossible to order?
When you launched the Box Set sale, you stated that it would be "nearly impossible" to order it anywhere else. Well, now I could have ordered it via my local record store, in fact a lot cheaper than it became with the shipping and tax/customs fee to Sweden. This really bugs me!
If you can buy it in a store in Sweden, it's because that store has gone to the Vai.com online store and bought it (perhaps in multiples). It's that simple. As for the shipping and customs tax, that sort of thing is simply beyond our control. We all have to pay taxes - even though doing so can be a pain in the ass (and not always cheap).
I really thought it would be more "special" than it really is.
What I mean is that, other than the secret disc + the Zappa & Alcatrazz discs, everything is/will be available separately/outside the box. Of course, that is a good way of making money off none diehard fans, but for us diehards it's not that funny.
I'm not sure what you mean by "everything else". There are still 7 discs to come. Some of those discs contain material that has appeared on various releases over many years. Most don't. Some of the tracks have been extremely hard for some fans to get their hands on. For example, the bonus tracks on Japanese releases. For Japanese fans, that might not be as much of a rarity, but for fans outside of Japan, getting all those tracks on one disc, means they don't have to purchase import Japanese discs for the bonus tracks only (a real saving!) Further, the next installments of the box set will include rare tracks that have been released on various demo/promo discs. Some of these are virtually impossible to find.
You state that the box set is just "a good way of making money off diehard fans". Firstly, this is incorrect, but moreover, you imply that it is somehow wrong that Steve release something that you might have to (or want to ) pay for? Nobody is being taken advantage of. You either want to buy it, or you dont
For the record, the box set is making very little (if any) money at all. It is a labor of love for Steve and something fans will appreciate. The licencing fees for much of this material can be very expensive.
I believe it was a not-so-good decision to release it CD by CD.
For us international buyers/fans, the Box Set will be very
expensive, paying tax+shipping for each and every CD/release. Personally, I could have waited a while longer for the whole thing to be released instead.
Releasing all discs at once would have been cost prohibative for most fans everywhere (even more so considering international exchange rates!) The wait would have been a lot longer also.
I can understand your frustration, but I feel that perhaps some of your notions about the box set are incorrect. I also think that you are getting annoyed at the practicalities of purchasing an imported product - and sadly, those things are beyond most people's control.
Thanx for listening,