Guitar legend Steve Vai is celebrating his birthday today and we are here to tell you some facts about him:
1. He was born in New York on June 6, 1960, to a family of immigrants from Italy.
2. When he was 6 years old he discovered the guitar and he immediately knew he would be a guitarist.
3. At the age of 13, he started taking guitar lessons from another virtuoso guitarist - Joe Satriani. Later on, Satriani will admit that the student surpassed his master.
4. During high school he was a member of several young bands including: "The Ohio Express", "Circus" and "Rayge".
6. In 1978 he began studying at Berklee College of Music.
7. That same year Vai sent Frank Zappa a transcript of Zappa's "The" Black Page as well as a recording of him and his band. Zappa, who was very impressed with Vai's abilities, hired him to produce transcripts of his works.
8. In 1980 Vai joined Zappa's band as a full-time player.
9. In 1983 Vai left Zappa. He bought a house in Los Angeles where he built a recording studio and began recording his first solo album "Flex-Able", which was released in January 1984. The excerpt "The Attitude Song" from the album was published in Guitar Player magazine as an exceptional work whose main riff Played at 7/16 weight on a basic 4/4 beat.
10. In 1984, Vai replaced guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen in "Alcatrazz" and recorded with them the album "Disturbing the Peace" which was released in 1985.
11. In 1985 he joined David Lee Roth's band alongside bassist Billy Sheehan and drummer Gregg Bissonette. This "dream team" recorded the album "Eat 'Em and Smile" which was released in 1986 and included, among others, the hit song "Yankee Rose" that Steve Vai co-wrote.
12. Vai continued in David Lee Roth's band and on his next album "Skyscrper" which was released in 1988 he also served as a producer.
13. In 1986, Vai participated in the recording of "Public Image Limited" fifth album.
14. That same year he participated in the movie "Crossroads". In the iconic climactic scene of the movie, he had a guitar duel with the movie star Ralph Macchio.
15. During this period he continued to study music theory and specialized in production and musical equipment. As part of Vai's experience, he began using a 7-string guitar built especially for him by "Ibanez". He was also a partner in the design of the JEM model of "Ibanez guitars", and later also of the Universe model and more.
16. In 1989, Vai joined Whitesnake's. He replaced the injured Adrian Vandenberg, and recorded the guitar parts for the album "Slip of the Tongue".
17. In 1990, Vai released one of his greatest solo albums, "Passion and Warfare". The album is considered one of the most successful instrumental albums and it won the "album of the year" title in the magazine's Guitar World and Guitar Player.
18. In the same year Vai joined a band of which were also Devin Townsend and Terry Bozzio. Together with this band, Vai released the album "Sex & Religion" in 1993.
19. In 1991, Vai was a guest on Alice Cooper's album "Hey Stoopid".
21. In 1994 Vai began working with Ozzy Osbourne on the album "Ozzmosis" and co-wrote the songs on it. Due to disagreements the album was written and re-recorded together with guitarist Zakk Wylde.
23. He was nominated for 8 Grammy Awards and won twice in 2006 and 2008.
24. In 2004, Vai participated in two songs from "Motörhead's" album "Inferno".
25. He is among those who read the lyrics in the song "Repentance" from "Dream Theater's" "Systematic Chaos" album.