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Inching up on number one

Another prolific musician professes his love for Deep Purple, and this time it’s Steve Vai. In his interview to My Planet Rocks he said:

Well, when I was a kid, I was a huge Deep Purple fan. I was so bummed when Ritchie Blackmore left the band, when those guys left and they weren’t in the band anymore. And they got this new guy, this new bass player (Glenn Hughes, who replaced Roger Glover), and singer – David Coverdale, and I just thought, ‘You don’t like him immediately,’ because he’s not your hero. But then I bought that record (1973’s ‘Burn’), and my God, I was stunned. He was such a great singer. He was inching up on number one. When I saw, I think it was the Us Festival, where David was really singing, I just became a fan, and was a fan of the Coverdale Deep Purple for all those records.

And then, I went into other things, but when the Whitesnake record came out in the ’80s, the Whitesnake record that had all that great, incredible music, and his voice – that’s a dedication to that seed of rock and roll that he expresses. It was so refreshing, and plus, these pipes, you know? I really enjoyed that record, and when the call came in to join the band, I just thought, ‘How could this be?’ I went from one crazy, incredible frontman David Lee Roth to another. I just knew that was an amazing opportunity, to sing with someone that I considered one of the greatest rock singers. Just the quality and the power in the voice.

Here is the interview. Purple bits start at around 13 minute mark.

Thanks to Raised On Radio for liberating the interview and to Ultimate Guitar for the transcription.

8 Comments to “Inching up on number one”:

  1. 1
    Paulo Glover says:

    Steve Vai is an amazing person and musician. On the Re-Machined tribute to Machine Head, he plays Highway Star Jon’s intro from Made In Japan-original 2LP album. Amazing. That was really a tribute that came from the soul of a true fan.

  2. 2
    Uwe Hornung says:

    I saw Vai with Whitesnake – he didn’t really fit, but he was amazing to watch and hear. It was totally effortless, perhaps too effortless. Without really trying or wanting, he upstaged everyone else in the band.

    Vai is a true gentleman, I have never ever heard him say a bad thing about his time with Zappa, Alcatrazz, David Lee Roth, Whitesnake or Devin Townsend. Or those bands/musicians about him.

  3. 3
    Eitablepanties says:

    steve is looking hotter😍in his middle aged years

  4. 4
    Uwe Hornung says:

    @3: True, generally there’s less attractive men on these pages than sax solos on Deep Purple songs. A deplorable situation, really.


  5. 5
    Andy says:

    @ 2: I started paying attention to Steve when he joined Whitensake. Initially, I didn’t like his playing on Slip of the Tongue. His Passion and Warfare CD changed my opinion immediately. I saw Vai in concert a year a two before the pandemic when he was promoting the anniversary of Passion and Warfare. He played the entire record, great guitarist and he had a really good rapport with the audience.

  6. 6
    James S Gemmell says:

    @Eitablepanties Don’t gross me out! Just kidding. 😉

  7. 7
    robert says:

    I believe the concert Steve is referring to in regards to David Coverdale is the California Jam.

    Which as in 1974. I saw Steve when he was in G3 in 2003 with Joe Satriani and Yngwie Malmsteen and I have to admit he impressed me the most.

  8. 8
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Slip of the Tongue was a doomed concept. Having Steve Vai play Adrian Vandenberg’s compositions written to sound like they were John Sykes songs. It was all several generations removed from the source and the result had none of the balls and gusto 1987 undeniably had. No wonder it flopped. It’s a lifeless, contrived record.

    I’m no great fan of “I’m the center of the universe”-Johnny Boy, but he was gifted and Rock’n’Roll, you gotta hand that to him.

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