Mailbag 64

Dear Mr. Vai,

I hope you don’t mind me writing you at your email address, but I would like to express my many thanks for the poster you personalized to me while I was severely ill when I was 13. (I am now 23.) The inspiration I found in that gesture, as well as your music, was a primary factor in my full and unforseen recovery; calling it uplifting would be an understatement.

My father, believing that your contribution to my recovery was quite substantial, bought me a green Ibanez Jem (#221) once I was well enough to go with him to the store. I played that guitar so much that the fretboard is worn considerably and the signature wore off. Ibanez sent it back to you and you were kind enough to resign it once again. Unfortunately, that one wore off, too.

Ibanez, in their apparent annoyance with me, told me something quite ridiculous when I told them the second signature wore off: that I shouldn’t play the guitar since it is a collector’s item and that I couldn’t have it resigned again. (That was quite a while ago, and I seldom play it since I have a different Jem and have been more in the bebop vein for the past 4 years.) I apologize for the tangent.

My point is to sincerely express my appreciation for the things you did for me. While in my adolescent idol phase, you were my hero. I have since grown out of that, realizing that we’re made of the same molecular structure. 🙂 Joking aside, I am thankful to have been touched by your music at such an early age and continue to enjoy it… I wish you the very best and look forward to hearing the new album!

Eternally grateful,

Seth ‘Speedy’ Greenberg