Steve Vai Announces VaiTunes and Plays on Stairway to Heaven Cover

Posted by Michael Mueller on February 18, 2010 at 1:42 PM

Steve Vai - Mary J. BligeThe last time Steve Vai played "Stairway to Heaven," he says he was 14 years old at a school dance, and the head cheerleader ralphed all over his 4-inch platform shoes. But that little setback wasn't enough for the Jem-master to decline an invitation to lay down his mojo on the Zep classic for a new version set to appear on R&B singer Mary J. Blige's new album, due out later this year.

"I was hunkering down on the new project when I got a call from a friend of mine at Universal to play guitar on 'Stairway to Heaven' for Mary J Blige," says Vai at his web site. "So I went into the studio and we cut a track with Travis Barker on drums, Orianthi on guitar, and Randy Jackson on bass. The track came out beautiful but perhaps the highlight for me was sitting across from MJB, just her and I doing the classic song's intro. It was magic really. Her voice sounded like moonbeams reflecting off of a mountain lake."

Steve Vai guitar tabIn other Vai news, the guitarist has announced a new endeavor he calls VaiTunes—digital singles culled from the "melodic abyss" that comprises the digital ocean of song snippets, ideas, and leftovers floating around Vai's hard drives and tapes.

The first track is titled "Without Me." It was tracked in 1998 at The Mothership, in Hollywood, California, and features Vai on guitar, Mike Keneally on keys, Philip Bynoe on bass, and Mike Mangini on drums. You can read the liner notes for the track here, and you can preview the track at any of the digital retailers on that page. Click here to hear it at iTunes.

Steve Vai guitar tab and video lessons 

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GrapeApe on February 18, 2010 at 6:19 PM

I read Vai's comments about doing "Stairway" at his web site. I can't believe he was able to restrain himself. Hope it's cool.