The World’s First 24-Fret 7-String Shred Machine?

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I was just scanning some recent guitar auctions, as I am wont to do, and I saw something super cool at a Guernsey’s auction from February 27: Tony Mottola’s 1952 7-string, 24-fret Gibson Custom Super 400CES. Mottola was a legendary session musician who played with Frank Sinatra and Perry Como. He also played in the Doc Severinson Orchestra on The Tonight Show. This guitar has a carved spruce top with maple back and sides, and custom P90 pickups with seven pole pieces. It was offered for auction with its original hard case and a copy of the production ledger for March 1992. The serial number is A 9934. What an amazing piece of history. Following are some more guitars – including instruments belonging to Eddie Van Halen and Richie Sambora – but first here are some more pics of the 7-string: Read More …

Fascinating Facts About Steve Vai’s Passion And Warfare

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Steve Vai’s Passion & Warfare turned 25 years old this past July, and the guitar has never been the same. Part hard rock, part psychedelia filtered through 80s neon, part Looney Toons soundtrack, part Zappa, Passion & Warfare found Vai breaking out on his own with an incredible level of focus and determination. Read More …

Ibanez Premium Universe & Jem Reissues!

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Whoa! Christmas came early to subscribers to Steve Vai’s newsletter! In 2015 Ibanez will be releasing reissues of the blue floral Jem and the white Universe. The blue Jem – eh, I can take or leave that one – but the white Universe? Vai recorded “For The Love Of God” on a white Universe! And Korn fans are going to flip out over these too. Vai also announced that the super-affordable Jem Jr (previously only available in certain markets to combat counterfeits) will now be available worldwide! Read More …

INTERVIEW: Steve Vai

steve vai the story of lightSteve Vai has been a frequent visitor to Australia over the past decade. He’s been out here for a few G3 tours (first with Joe Satriani and John Petrucci, and then with Satriani and Steve Lukather), he’s been a guest of Dweezil Zappa during the first Zappa Plays Zappa tour, and he even shared some pretty deep musical insights during a masterclass tour. But in that time we’ve only had one Vai solo tour, back in 2004. And you really don’t get the full Vai experience from a short G3 set, a guest appearance or an admittedly amazing masterclass. No sir, for the full Steve Vai experience, you have to see a full Steve Vai show. Read More …

NAMM 2012: Year Of The Sea Foam Green

One thing that really, really stood out to me at NAMM this year was the prevalence of Sea Foam Green. It’s not quite blue, it’s not quite green, but it’s definitely cool this year. Hell, Steve Vai seems to like this shade so much that it features on his new signature Ibanez Jem70V Premium model and his new Carvin Legacy III amplifier. See?

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NAMM 2012: Ibanez Premium Jem70V

This year Ibanez has introduced a Steve Vai signature Jem in the Preimium line. Premium axes are made in a factory in Indonesia which Ibanez has an ownership stake in. Check out pics of the new axe from the NAMM floor at the end of this post. Nice, huh?

The Jem70V is in Sea Foam Green, and it features Steve’s signature DiMarzio Evolution humbuckers, an Ibanez Edge bridge, basswood body (like the earliest Jems), rosewood fretboard with full vine inlay (colour-matched to the body and headstock), and a 5-piece maple/walnut JEM Premium neck. The neck is very much a Jem neck, not simply a Wizard shape with a floral inlay on it or anything, and the fretwork is spectacular. I know some players are hesitant to check out Indonesian instruments because they might associate them with lower-cost lines, but the Ibanez Premium range is much closer to J Custom quality than Prestige. If you’re an Ibanez geek like me you should find that pretty exciting.

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