Mailbag 49

It’s been just about 20 years since I’ve seen Steve Vai, the first time being with Frank Zappa at Indiana University (if I recall correctly) in about 1980. On Saturday night at Birch Hill in Old Bridge, NJ, I was able to see again why I was so amazed 20 years ago. Although no one would mistake Steve Vai for Frank Zappa, it’s great to see all the influence Frank has had on Steve Vai’s musical and professional development.

Saturday’s performance was one of unworldly talent, and I’m talking about Steve of course, but also of the entire band; of amazing stamina, after over 2 hours of 120% intensity I was convinced that Steve could have continued all night long given half a chance and an audience as energetic as himself; and LOUDER than anything I’ve been too, for… well, ever! So during the show, Steve named his band members but I’ll be damed if I could make it out. So being a drummer myself, I’ve got to know… who the hell is that guy? And what planet or galaxy does he come from? I haven’t seen a one-handed drum roll since Buddy Rich, and even then I’m sure Buddy didn’t hold out as long as this marshmallow man did!! So what is this guy’s name and does he also have a website?

Thanks for your help and tell Steve that Frank must be pleased.

Bob Bunger
London, England