NEWS: Is this Vai’s new floral Jem?

Remember back in September when I interviewed Steve Vai and he mentioned a new floral-pattern Ibanez Jem on the horizon? Well that Jem wasn’t released at the NAMM Show, so where was it? Well, it may not have been at NAMM but it seems Steve did lug it along for a recording session with Mary J Blige the other day to lay down a cover of ‘Stairway to Heaven.’

Check out the photo below from the LA Times (click the pic for a close-up) – and check out the line-up for the session! Mary J. Blige on vocals, Steve Vai and Orianthi on guitar, Travis Barker on drums and Randy Jackson on bass. The producer is Ron Fair.

In September Steve said There’s always little innovations. We’re working on a new material pattern – remember the floral pattern? Oh my gosh, we’re doing something like that again but ah, the pattern is so gorgeous. When you see it you’re going to die. And also there’s one innovation, I can’t really tell you what it is, but it’s revolutionary. It’s one of those very simple, practical things that no-one ever did, and it’s just like, ‘Well duh!’

So what do you think? Is that the new floral Jem which is expected to make it into production soon (perhaps it’ll be premiered at Musikmesse or Summer NAMM)? Or is it one of Steve’s many one-offs? One hint that it may indeed be the real thing can be found here.

Photo: Andrew McLeod