Mailbag 118


There’s something about the word “Individual.” That word is one that everyone wishes for but many just cannot attain. You are one of the few ‘persons’, let alone ‘musicians’ that have clearly defined yourself in such a way. To be quite honest, I love ya more as a person that a guitarist because you’re such a humble guy, much like myself. Your guitar playing is awe-inspiring. I remember the first time I saw you–it was on “Crossroads.” Jack Butler was a role made totally for Steve Vai. You hold a charisma and entertaining aspect about yourself when you’re playing that I wish I had. I’ve only been playing guitar for a year and a half, but listening to certain players tend to “influence” us all. I guess you could say that my style, which tends to coincide with the very likes of yourself, Jimmy Page, Satriani, Eddie Van Halen and Jimi Hendrix, consists of a feeling and aspiration for perfection. Which is how I feel about each one of you guys as musicians. Those individuals we look at and say, “Man, I’ll never be that good.” It’s not that we ‘hold ourselves back’, but we feel that it is something so sacred and dear to our souls that we leave it for what it is and just don’t touch it, like a signed guitar by your favorite player.

Needless to say, I’m a total fan of yours. As I said earlier, “I love ya for the person you are.” You do it for the love of the music and you are one of the few people that haven’t been influenced by ‘them.’ Them, I guess you can say, is pressure, commercialism and egotistical jackasses. I enjoy that you’re being your own musician and a total disciple of yourself. That’s what we all as musicians, especially the young bloomers like myself, say about each other–“I care more about challenging myself than dueling with others.”

I recently saw you on the G3 video and you were awesome! “For The Love Of God” is a creation that is ‘divine and grandiose’. When I play with others in a jam session, I watch everything; their hands, body language and most importantly, their face. Steve, let say this for myself — in “For the Love of God”, you were there, man. I saw it in your eyes — the total drive of feeling and freedom. Like an eagle almost, soaring and being proud of what you’re doing for yourself, your loved ones and your fans. That look is one that I’ll never forget. I was almost as if you were thanking God for giving you what you had and there are so many others that want that same feeling — to be loved and doing what you do best.

I’ll close this letter by saying that I play guitar because I love the instrument. I play because it’s fun and I express myself. I guess you could say that guitar is my “Stairway To Heaven” or moreover, my “Liberty.” Continue to lavish us fans with music that takes our pain away, that soothe our souls and captivates our imagination to live life a little better each day. Songs to me that you’ve made that I hold dear are: “Hand On Heart,” “Die To Live,” “Brother,” “Liberty,” “For the Love of God,” “Sisters,” “Bad Horsie,” “Tender Surrender,” and “Fire Garden Suite.” Steve, thank you so much for your time, your guitar playing, your incredible sense of feeling with music, your creativity and your desire — desire to be the best (not to mention you’re succeeding with that!)

Keep this great website and thank you so much!!!

The Hitman