Musician Income

This is the forum for all Steve Vai-related discussion including Steve's albums, videos, performances and frequently asked questions.
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SkinnyDevil
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Musician Income

#1 Post by SkinnyDevil » Sat May 08, 2004 9:01 am

In response to the thread asking how much Steve makes per year (it was locked or I would have replied there) which can be found here:

http://www.vai.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=5054
VAI.COM :: View topic - I hope this question isn't too personal.....

I disagree with the moderator. Normally, this would be considered a personal question, but Steve has publically spoken on this topic. One quote that immediately comes to mind is when an interviewer asked what the best biz decision Steve ever made was, and Steve responded that his distro deal for 'Flex-able" netted him $7.50/unit. He further elaborated, telling the interviewer he had sold over 400,000 copies (which comes to around $3 million in about 20 years).

Further, Steve has made mention of musicians being paid as professionals in past interviews (though I have not seen an explicit endorsement of musicians unions). He also spoke of his cash flow with DLR (at least on the first tour) and hinted that it was around $2500/week (or roughly $125,000/year). He also said Whitesnake mad him a millionaire, and stated flatly that keeping his publishing was the best advice he ever got (since he co-wrote with DLR and Whitesnake, not to mention everythign else he's done).

While Steve hasn't tossed out an annual review (and asking for one would be ridiculous), his past efforts to educate musicians about all manner of music related items seems to suggest that while he may not directly answer such a query, he'd be more than happy to express rough figures per project so folks can understand how the music BUSINESS works.

As a professional musican, I appreciate Steve's candor on the issue of making a living as a working musician. The advice he and others have offered has been instrumental in my ability to pay the bills as a musican.

Just my 2 cents, though.....

--
DMM

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#2 Post by Mikey » Sat May 08, 2004 12:42 pm

Thanks for your 2 cents. Here's mine: While Steve has mentioned facts and figures in the past, it has been largely in relation to making smart decisions as a musicican rather than just revealing his salary or annual income.

The original post asked for Steve's annual income, and that's too personal. Perhaps if the question had been posed more like you have done above, the thread would still be unlocked.

The truth of the matter is, you're not going to get a correct answer from anyone here and speculating is a little bit rude. ;)

Peace,

Mikey
vai.com

Ryan Layton
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#3 Post by Ryan Layton » Sat May 08, 2004 4:58 pm

i heard his time with whitesnake (just one album and tour) made him 19 million.

i agree that he did make some awesome business decisions.

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#4 Post by Massacre » Sat May 08, 2004 7:07 pm

19 Million might be a little to steep Ryan. But I bet Mr. Vai lives very comfortably. He works non-stop, and tours like crazy. So like they say you "reap what you sow". :)

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#5 Post by lydian7 » Sat May 08, 2004 7:09 pm

Mikey wrote:Thanks for your 2 cents. Here's mine: While Steve has mentioned facts and figures in the past, it has been largely in relation to making smart decisions as a musicican rather than just revealing his salary or annual income.

The original post asked for Steve's annual income, and that's too personal. Perhaps if the question had been posed more like you have done above, the thread would still be unlocked.

The truth of the matter is, you're not going to get a correct answer from anyone here and speculating is a little bit rude. ;)

Peace,

Mikey
vai.com
I think Kochchoo was just exercising his freedom of speech. You were bang out of order IMO :wink:

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#6 Post by lydian7 » Sat May 08, 2004 7:15 pm

Massacre wrote:19 Million might be a little to steep Ryan. But I bet Mr. Vai lives very comfortably. He works non-stop, and tours like crazy. So like they say you "reap what you sow". :)
I'll say!! :shock: lol!

I read in a magazine where Vai told the interviewer that he didn't have enough money to tour as much as he'd like during the Fire Garden years. He said "I'm sorry it came down to that, but it's the sad truth" or something along those lines. I'm sure someone here will remember, or even conjure up the exact interview in question (it was said during the Ultra Zone tour, where he was able to Tour a lot more countries!).

I think he's fairly well-off now though, and he deserves to live his life in financial security considering how hard he works, and considering the beautiful music he has dedicated his life to creating for us! :)

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#7 Post by tim_knox » Sat May 08, 2004 8:57 pm

I think the question is very personal and most people I know, know that it is a question that should not be asked especially in such a public place as this forum.
I think Kochchoo was just exercising his freedom of speech
Yup and Mikey was excercising his freedom as moderator and shut down such a rude question.

just my thought

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#8 Post by Evil Betty » Sat May 08, 2004 9:06 pm

I think it's a totally inappropriate question. It's just none of your business!

Why are people so fascinated by a celebrity's wealth? I thought people on this board were above this MTV Cribs mentality.

I couldn't give a shit what Steve makes. I would only hope that it matches his talent...

For what it's worth, I think it was the right thing to do to shut the thread down.

E.B.

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#9 Post by davester1234 » Sat May 08, 2004 9:24 pm

You just don't ask people how much they make. NOBODY likes being asked that. if THEY bring it up, its one thing, but its not cool to discuss other peoples financial matters....even Steve Vai's.



I'll admit, as a guitarist/musician, I've wondered myself what he's made, but I've thought long and hard about the issue, and this is my conclusion: The fact that he's a public figure doesn't mean his figures should be public matters.

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#10 Post by jmchambers5 » Sat May 08, 2004 9:53 pm

Evil Betty wrote:I thought people on this board were above this MTV Cribs mentality.
yea, we're all vh1 celebrity homes types. :wink:

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#11 Post by tim_knox » Sat May 08, 2004 9:59 pm

haha gooooooood call with that one

I wouldn't mind watching Mtv cribs if they had some people that interest me on it. Its definitly not on the same plane as asking a person straight out how much they make.

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#12 Post by Lycanthrope » Sat May 08, 2004 10:17 pm

c'mon guys, lets not be so hasty...the guy who asked the original question was just curious.
No big deal...

i think some forumers (not just on vai.com.. i think this forum is so free and easy compared iwth others) are a bit self-righteous at times... petrucci forum dudes are VERY self righteous..

likewise i think mikey did what he had to do to shut the thread down, which is fine..i guess it was inappropriate but... you shouldn't be so crass to the guy who asked the question..

i don't know why - but i just see his viewpoint, thats all?
yon.

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#13 Post by davester1234 » Sat May 08, 2004 10:45 pm

Lycanthrope wrote:c'mon guys, lets not be so hasty...the guy who asked the original question was just curious.
No big deal...

i think some forumers (not just on vai.com.. i think this forum is so free and easy compared iwth others) are a bit self-righteous at times... petrucci forum dudes are VERY self righteous..
no hard feelings for anyone :) . It was just not a suitable topic, thats all (no disrespect to the poster mind you :wink: ). steve's just a guy like everyone else, and we need to respect his privacy just like we'd want ours to be respected. it was a mistake, the thread was locked, and IMO we can leave it at that. Its easy to forget it might not be respectful grounds when we're talking about public figures, and certainly not grounds for holding grudges. Its easily forgiven, so long as we can all come to an agreement that we as fans only have just cause to discuss so much stuff

I think (as rules state) grounds we should stay away from are steve's personal life, his family life, financial situation, and kids. If he wants to bring them up, cool, if not, we need to keep our distance. :)

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#14 Post by Ryan Layton » Sun May 09, 2004 8:02 am

i went and checked on that 19 million thing. mick mars from Motley Crue came up to him and said "dude, did you really get 19 million to do that record?!" steve said "no thats insane, it was only 15" or something like that. idk how much truth there is to what steve said.

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#15 Post by Jeroen » Sun May 09, 2004 9:58 am

Ryan Layton wrote:i went and checked on that 19 million thing. mick mars from Motley Crue came up to him and said "dude, did you really get 19 million to do that record?!" steve said "no thats insane, it was only 15" or something like that. idk how much truth there is to what steve said.
Whatever it was, it is totally unimportant to us and none of our business.
:x

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