Mailbag 23

>Hey Vai site people! This is my Vai story , it’s a sad one.

You could say that it all began about two summers ago… I was in a local music store looking for a Pearl Jam CD for my older brother. I found the disc I was looking for and noticed that I had about 15 extra bucks in my wallet. At that very moment I caught a familiar sight out of the corner of my eye. It was the cover of a CD I had seen before at a guitar buddy’s house. It was the sweetest looking artwork I had ever gazed upon; a man dressed in black armed with a 7-stringed “bow” and a quiver of arrows, stood with gardens above, fires below, heavens to one side and a empire in ruin to the other. As I looked closer, a brown ribbon was noticed wrapping around the mysterious man. At an even closer look the immortal words came into focus, “Passion and Warfare”. My heart jumped with excitement as I held the long forgotten jewel in my hand. I ended up buying that disc that day and after listening to it over and over that night, I was, you might say, hooked. It didn’t take long to find the rest of Mr. Vai’s CD’s, and with each listening I grew deeper and deeper in my respect, admiration, and amazement of a such a guitarist.

In the middle of February of ’97 my dreams sailed to a new height with the purchase of three tickets to go see a “guitar festival” at a local venue. My dreams were soon to come true by seeing my guitar god live playing his heart out for all of his addoring fans including myself. I patiently awaited for that night and it did come. As I got ready I was eyeing the tickets just as I had done so many times before, looking at my box “A” seat number and thinking of being two feet away from him as he flows through such compositions as “Tender Surrender” and “For the Love of God”. The car ride to the local venue was a good one. My dad, older brother and myself were listening to Satriani and Vai in anticipation of the night. As we pulled into the parking lot of the Hollywood Bowl, I could see the rear of the bowl towering over a half car-filled lot. I was almost out of control with excitement. We were actually here!!!!!!! I couldn’t believe that I was going to see Mr. Vai play live! We parked the car, got out and made our way to the entrance. We were three among a throng of fellow long-haired guitar junkies and I felt in place. We made it to the entrance and it was a funny thing, no one there to take the tickets?? “Oh, well,” my dad spoke up,” let’s go find the seats.” As we were about to turn the corner into the seating area, images of an amp filled stage, with drums taking the middle and mics dancing upon the fringes filled my mind. In my head I could almost hear the soundchecks cutting through the chatter of an eager audience awating the star of the show. And as I turned the corner and passed into the isle way, I looked up and saw… nothing .

I couldn’t believe it, the show had been cancelled two days before with no hope of a reschedule. I wasn’t going to see Mr. Steve Vai play his guitar and those hopes and dreams were shattered faster then a sweep of his pick. It was a very quiet and lonesome ride home that night. I got home and just slipped into bed. The next day it came to my attention that they had played San Diego that Oct. 4th instead of L.A.. why? I will never know.

A dreamer of shattered dreams,
Brian D.

[Rich’s note: The Hollywood and San Diego dates were switched several weeks prior to the concert. Anyone going to a show is advised to keep eyes and ears peeled for any news of a change, as they do happen, and calling the box office on the day before a show is a good idea too. We’ll also be posting any changes to Steve’s tour dates as they are announced, on the Tour Dates page.]