I’m running around Long Island right now enjoying the fall weather and some old friends from my hometown, but for the most part Julian, Fire and I sit around all day and watch these hilarious horror films and eat popcorn. Now that’s living!
The G3 tour is now a fond memory and I miss being out there. It was such a very special tour. Joe, Yngwie and myself truly enjoyed it and I felt as though my musical creativity was pushed more than ever before. It helps to have those giant mountains to the left and right of you.
At the end of the tour Yngwie gave me one of his personal guitars and wrote something very special on it. That was a real highlight for me. The way he has these guitars set up with the scallop neck, string gauge, etc. it’s like playing a completely different instrument. He really is a unique person and although we have been friends for close to 20 years, I feel as if we really got to know and appreciate one another much deeper on this tour.
I didn’t think it was possible but even Joe and I bonded deeper too. Our musical communication reached new heights. At times it was like the ESP jams. Moments reminded me of when I was a 14-year-old kid and we would sit in his backyard, back to back for hours at a time and just play. All we had was our ears and fingers. We would listen to each other and although my playing abilities were far inferior to his, we communicated on intimate musical levels totally freely. In those hours I learned the meaning of selfless and pure musical communication and have never felt it at that kind of a level since then, until this tour. There is just something that comes over me when I’m in the vicinity of Joe and we both have guitars on. I feel musically alive like no other time.
Friday I leave back for L.A. to put the finishing touches on the mix for my portion of the G3 DVD and CD and then I will be working the entire months of December and January on the music for the Metropole Orchestra performance in Holland in May. I’m working on a piece called “Helios and Vesta.” It will involve a 50-piece orchestra and a small rock band. I originally penned the piece in 1981 and it’s been waiting for a serious treatment since. Composing and orchestrating is actually my favorite thing to do. Having command over all those musicians at the scratch of a pencil is an extraordinarily exhilarating feeling. It’s dope baby!
I hope you get a kick out of the new Astoria DVD. It should be out any minute now.
Come February, I will resume work on the new studio CD and it should be out anytime between May-Aug 2004. It’s going to be deep.
I read all the posts on Vai.com regarding the G3 tour. It’s impossible to convey my feelings adequately. I have never quite felt like this. When I was a kid I never expected to be blessed with the opportunity to tour around the world and have an audience of people that find enjoyment in what I do. There has always been this underlying feeling that it was a fluke, not real, coincidence, etc. There’s always this feeling that the tour I’m on may be my last tour because there may not be an audience to buy tickets next time I want to tour. After reading all the reviews on the G3 tour I had to pause for a moment. I sat there in this state of quasi-euphoria. I was totally humbled and tried to imagine what I could have done in this life or any past life for that matter, to deserve such good fortune. I was truly blown away. It gave me a different overview of my career and output. You give me the incentive to dig deeper and be more personal with what I create in my music and on the instrument. I’m amazed at how intuitive and aware you all are. You guys all really get it, maybe even more than me!
I even find the harsh criticism very informative and constructive. You make me want to be the very best that I can be, but I also feel that it’s you that I’m doing it for, so I want it to be special. It’s similar to when you’re in love. You want to do things for the one you love to please them, make them happy, comfortable and content. This is how I feel about anyone that is attracted to my music. It’s such an honor when someone likes what you do. That kind of privilege just does not grow on trees.
I hope you see this as being sincere and not a play on your affections, and please forgive the personal nature of this letter but I’m still so high from this tour. I wish you all the best and safest of holidays.