STEVE VAI on Ernie Ball String Theory: “I Used to Sleep with My Guitar. Every Night It Was in the Bed”

Good news! That anime body pillow you cuddle up to every night is starting to sound a whole lot less weird – and actually pretty comfy. As a kid, guitar hero Steve Vai legit used to go to bed with his buddy’s Teisco Del Rey. Well, it wasn’t his buddy’s anymore; he bought it off him for $5 then started sleeping with it. What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever caught some Zs with? (Hold the Godfather jokes, please.)

In this episode of Ernie Ball’s String Theory series, Steve Vai speaks about his influences and playing history. It’s a bit of a long-shot, but he even talks about Ernie Ball strings, too, and the mystique certain brands hold when you’re a young player. Funny story: Joe Satriani was the dude who showed Vai how to string up his first pack of Slinkies. How quaint.

Interspersed between funny-rad anecdotes and life lessons from the master himself are insane noodles and shots of his ridiculous guitar/gear collection. I guess you amass a pretty healthy number of fiddles when you’re like, one of the best ever. He even touches on his opinion of Billie Joe Armstrong’s playing, which is enlightening to say the least.

The String Theory back catalogue is a hefty one but well worth diving into when you’ve got the chance. Who knows what you’ll learn about one of the greats.

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Gear Gods intern Maxwell studied English at Cal Poly Pomona and has since realized life ain’t all about semicolons and syntax. He’s studying audio now, and will probably judge your music taste before your grammar.