Known for movies

Short Info

Net Worth$14 million
Date Of BirthJune 6, 1960
SpousePia Maiocco
Fact48th Annual Grammys [February 2006]

Steve Vai is an American guitarist, composer, singer, songwriter, and producer who has won multiple Grammy Awards and is widely considered to be one of the most influential guitarists of the last few decades.

Born in New York in 1960, Vai started playing guitar at the age of 13. He soon began taking lessons from Joe Satriani, and later went on to study under guitar legend Frank Zappa. Vai’s first professional gig was with Zappa’s band in 1980.

Vai’s solo career began in 1984 with the release of his debut album Flex-Able. He has since released 11 more solo albums, the most recent being 2017’s Modern Primitive. Vai has also worked with a number of other artists as a producer, session musician, or songwriter, including David Lee Roth, Whitesnake, Ozzy Osbourne, and Alcatrazz.

In addition to his solo work, Vai is also a member of the rock band Planet X, and has been a touring member of G3, a supergroup featuring Satriani and fellow guitar greats John Petrucci and Kenny Wayne Shepherd.

Vai has won 10 Grammy Awards, including Best Rock Instrumental Performance for his work on the song “Whiplash” from the movie of the same name. He was also nominated for an Academy Award for his work on the soundtrack to the film Crossroads.

Vai’s net worth is estimated to be $20 million. He has been married to his wife Pia Maiocco since 1991 and they have two children together.

General Info

Full NameSteve Vai
Net Worth$14 million
Date Of BirthJune 6, 1960
Height1.83 m
ProfessionRecord producer, Film Score Composer, Film producer, Guitarist, Philanthropist, Actor, Singer, Beekeeper, Songwriter, For the Love of God, Tender Surrender, Bad Horsie, Los Angeles, CA, United States, Nakamura Ward, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan, Naniwa Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture, Japan
EducationBerklee College of Music


SpousePia Maiocco
ChildrenFire Vai, Julian Angel Vai, For the Love of God, Tender Surrender, Bad Horsie, Los Angeles, CA, United States, Nakamura Ward, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan, Naniwa Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture, Japan
ParentsJohn Vai, Theresa Vai, For the Love of God, Tender Surrender, Bad Horsie, Los Angeles, CA, United States, Nakamura Ward, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan, Naniwa Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture, Japan
SiblingsMichael Vai


AwardsGrammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance, Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album, For the Love of God, Tender Surrender, Bad Horsie, Los Angeles, CA, United States, Nakamura Ward, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan, Naniwa Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture, Japan
Music GroupsWhitesnake, Alcatrazz, For the Love of God, Tender Surrender, Bad Horsie, Los Angeles, CA, United States, Nakamura Ward, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan, Naniwa Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture, Japan
MoviesLos Angeles, CA, United States, Nakamura Ward, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan, Naniwa Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture, Japan, Crossroads, Lemmy, Live at the Astoria, London, Crazy, Rock Prophecies, The Torture Never Stops, Aurora Borealis, G3: Live in Tokyo, Steve Vai: Where the Wild Things Are, Stev...

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1Ray and I do not draw salaries, Any profits will be re-invested into marketing the music we believe in.
2I can count on one hand the people who are legendary in my book, and Tom Waits is certainly right at the top. It's funny, though: When I tell people that I like Tom's music, it surprises them.
3I have an independent record label called Favored Nations on which I released an album by an artist called Johnny A, who plays an arch top Gibson through a Marshall, but the tone is all in his fingers.
4It's hilarious, because my guitar has what's known as a tremolo bar or a whammy bar. And the whammy bar is probably the most alien thing on my guitar that could possibly relate to a classical guitar.
5My past is very interesting, and I treasure it, but to write about it, it's just not on my radar.
6Favored Nations is a long-term commitment. Our hope is that those who are passionate about real musicianship will want to hear and own most of our albums. We will set out to attain the same direct relationship with our customers that we have with our artists.
7I've always considered transcribing to be an invaluable tool in the development of one's musical ear and, over the years, I have spent countless glorious hours transcribing different kinds of music, either guitar-oriented or not.
8You can never deny the immense talent, rock credibility and iconic historical contribution that Van Halen made.
9When I was growing up, the blues did seem too simple to me. I was just a muso.
10It's very hard to come across as a passionate human being in print. People can't hear the inflections in your voice.
11The blues scale was the first thing I learned. It's just a pentatonic scale with a flat seventh and a few notes that sound cool when you bend them. And because people have amalgamated the blues into this rock-blues scale, if you're using it, you better sound like a real authentic blues player.
12I was about seven or eight years old when I first heard West Side Story, and it had a huge impact on me. If you look at the elements of that record, it contains many of the things I enjoy doing today.
13I wanted to be a composer before anything else. And my sister was listening to Led Zeppelin in the other room! When I heard that, it was a game-changer.
14When I was a teenager in the '70s, I was really into those great bands like Led Zeppelin and Queen and Jethro Tull, Deep Purple, Alice Cooper.
15I'm a big fan of cultural music, and that's how I try to expand my playing, by listening to music that is not conventionally American.
16What I look for in music is artistry, sincerity, and simplicity, and Tom Waits has all of that. I want to make a connection to the creator.
17As a musician, I look for certain things that stimulate me. And what I look for is something that's an evolution on a particular genre that I never heard before.
18I've been approached many times to write all sorts of books about my past and my personal life. I get interest from people who want to do reality shows, and somebody just offered me a huge amount of money to write my spiritual memoirs. I'm just not interested.
19A lot of those little things that I really like doing are just moments of cool articulation, just little moments of phrasing that probably go over everybody's head.
20I was a kid, 12 or something, when the Partridge Family was big on TV. I liked the curly cord running from the bass to the amps, which were real fancy. That cord looked so cool. I said, 'Wow! I gotta play something like that!'
21When I was young, I wasn't a misfit or anything. I had friends in all the different social groups. But I had issues - just personal issues, insecurities and other things that had happened in my life.
22I loved the idea of recording. The idea of sound-on-sound-recording captured me as a young kid, and once I realized what it was I had an epiphany. Before I was even playing the guitar, I would create these lists of how I would record things and overdub them, like Led Zeppelin song, 'I could put this guitar on this track...' and so on.
23Along with its enchanting and exquisite melodies, West Side Story has attitude and a tremendous amount of frenetic energy. It's emotional, theatrical and technical. It's everything.
24Reps once took chances on art, History's most treasured musicians were believed in and cultivated to reach their potential. Today, it would be difficult for those musicians to get deals.
25History's most treasured musicians were believed in and cultivated to reach their potential. Today, it would be difficult for those musicians to get deals. We have the insight and the tools to identify and bring to fruition the dormant talent that our artists possess.
26I designed a guitar for Ibanez and then they started manufacturing it - it's called the Jem - it's 26 years old and I still play it. As a kid I liked Les Pauls and Strats, but they had limitations for the kind of playing I wanted to do.
27I've never really heard anybody imitating anything of mine the way they do with Edward Van Halen's stuff.
28It just happens in life, where you resonate with a particular artist. Or it can be a kind of food or a fashion - you discover it and it gives you a whole new lease on life.
29I was always one of those guys who was a seeker after truth. I want to know what's going on.
30My main calling in life is to seek and achieve spiritual balance, and to express that through my instrument. Everything else is here today, gone later today.
31That's the thing about great artists: They find the thing that's most obvious to themselves, what's most conscious and natural, and they put it out there and the audience comes.
32I awake, I meditate, get the kids off to school, go to the gym, go to the Favored Nations office, and usually at around 1 pm I'm home and do music the rest of the day.
33I didn't have any aspirations of becoming famous or successful; in fact I was scared to death of all that. I remember somebody once said that if a rock musician goes on tour, he goes insane. I was very impressionable and I carried this useless weight of fear around with me about going on tour, all because of this thing somebody said.
34I knew that I was going to have a life as a musician, because I always felt the pull. I don't remember ever having to make a choice.
35I know it is common nowadays for artists to start labels but this is a thoroughly constructed vehicle for inspired talent. This is a market that we've been living, breathing and eating for our entire lives - one where a huge void currently exists. Favored Nations is a long-term commitment.
36I created this picture of this character who would play the guitar effortlessly, who had no limitations, performing beautiful music, and he moved around with great acrobatic skills, just capturing the audience and being a great entertainer.
37Still to this day, I am deeply satisfied when watching a guitar player who is connected with their art and instrument. GuitarTV helps you tap into that connection, and to each other.
38If I remain true to what's in my heart, that's all the success I need.
39The classical guitar has a dynamic to it unlike a regular acoustic guitar or an electric guitar. You know, there's times when you should play and there's times when you gotta hold back. It's an extremely dynamic instrument.
40Besides being a guitar player, I'm a big fan of the guitar. I love that damn instrument.
41If you're feeling emotional when you're creating something, it'll sound that way.
42The only time I'm miserable is when I can't keep an instrument in tune.
43All musicians practice ear training constantly, whether or not they are cognizant of it. If, when listening to a piece of music, a musician is envisioning how to play it or is trying to play along, that musician is using his or her 'ear' - the understanding and recognition of musical elements - for guidance.
44I don't think I approach my songs differently from other artists. You get a big picture of it, and you imagine the song and hear and feel it, and that big picture is like a snapshot, and it comes to you as fast as it takes to click a camera.
45When you get down to it, the way that the music affects you individually is the most important thing, and when you let things like the location of a band get in the way or have an effect on your overview, you're cheating yourself out of a really good time.
46I don't believe in 'greatest'. I believe in favorites.
47Acting, at least for me, is very unreal, and when I'm doing it, I actually feel embarrassed.
48I have a deep love for life and my fellow human beings. I try to understand everything that everybody does, even if it seems wrong to me.
49Possessing a healthy imagination is a necessary ingredient for creativity.
50Most people are fascinated to see someone play an instrument in an inspired way. We are moved by witnessing musical brilliance, and it was this notion that led me to purchase the GuitarTV domain 10 years ago.
51Criticism can be devastating. When push comes to shove, we are all very sensitive.
52I'm always pursuing knowledge; I'm a seeker of spiritual equilibrium - and music is a big part of that.
53I could never overstate the importance of a musician's need to develop his or her ear. Actually, I believe that developing a good 'inner ear' - the art of being able to decipher musical components solely through listening - is the most important element in becoming a good musician.
54I loved the guitar, and I had all of this music in my head. My passion for the guitar and the ideas for what I could create musically were equal. So that's where I was.
55We have the insight and the tools to identify and bring to fruition the dormant talent that our artists possess. Favored Nations will be branded as the home base for inspired musical talent.
56The older I get, the more I just like plugging directly into my amp. I'm tired of trying to impress myself with weird sounds. It's about the notes more.
57I think every artist subconsciously wants to evolve themselves. Sometimes they get stuck in ruts because of pop culture, peer pressure, stuff like that. But what excites me most is exploring my own musical insights and expanding upon them.
58I've learned over the years that you're going to be most successful at the things you're most excited to do. Every artist has a special set of tools. When you really use those tools, and you make yourself feel really good about the product you create, I think you'll find an audience for it. I've been very fortunate in that respect.
59You know, there's times when you should play and there's times when you gotta hold back.
60I can tell you this: I'm an extremely passionate individual. I try to be careful how I display it because you never know how people are going to take it.
61As far as Deep Purple goes, I mean, they're iconic. Their contribution is unquantifiable, and as far as the politics involved in things like awards, you know, I don't think anything, because I know what they mean to me, and I know what they mean to the people who like them. Awards are very politically based.


148th Annual Grammys [February 2006]
2Releases his new album "Real Illusions: Reflections". [February 2005]
3(Late 2004) Putting the finishing touches on his new album, "Real Illusions: Reflections", which will be out in stores on February 22, 2005.
4For director John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars (2001) soundtrack, music producer Bruce Robb called upon his talent, along with some other famous rock musician friends -- Anthrax, Guns N' Roses' guitarists Buckethead and Robin Finck, and Elliot Easton (formerly of The Cars). The results yielded an award-winning soundtrack, and Vai can been seen in the DVD behind-the-scenes bonus feature filmed while recording in Robb's Cherokee Studios.
5In the movie Crossroads (1986), he plays a demonic rock guitarist who has a final "cutting-heads" guitar showdown with Ralph Macchio. Both Vai and Macchio were born and raised on Long Island, New York.
6Studied at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.
7Recieved a Grammy nomination in the category of "Best Instrumental Rock Performance" in December of 2005 for his song "Lotus Feet" from the album "Real Illusions: Reflections"
8Also has a younger son, name Fire.
9Son's name is Julian Angel Vai.
10Was taught the guitar by guitarist Joe Satriani.
11Keeps bees as a hobby; harvested over 900 pounds of honey in 2001.
12He appears on a number of Frank Zappa albums from the 1980s. He also made a cameo appearance in the movie Crossroads (1986).
13Vai wrote two tracks on the soundtrack, plus he wrote and performed every air guitar solo for Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey (1991).




One Hit Wonderland2013TV Series documentary writer - 1 episode
#1 Cheerleader Camp2010Video performer: "Bad Horse Naked", "Viv Woman" / producer: "Bad Horse Naked", "Viv Woman" / writer: "Bad Horse Naked", "Viv Woman"
Rock Bottom: From Hell to Redemption2007Documentary performer: "Junkie" / writer: "Junkie"
Rumble Roses XX2006Video Game lyrics: "Yankee Rose" / music: "Yankee Rose"
Air Guitar Nation2006Documentary writer: "Yankee Rose"
Rumble Roses2004Video Game writer: "Yankee Rose"
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City2002Video Game lyrics: "Yankee Rose" - as S. Vai / writer: "God Blessed Video" - as S. Vai
Encino Man1992performer: "Drive the Hell Out of Here" / writer: "Drive the Hell Out of Here"
Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey1991performer: "THE REAPER", "THE REAPER RAP" / producer: "THE REAPER", "THE REAPER RAP" / writer: "THE REAPER", "THE REAPER RAP"
Doogie Howser, M.D.1990TV Series performer - 1 episode
Less Than Zero1987lyrics: "Bump 'N Grind" / music: "Bump 'N Grind"
Dudes1987performer: "Amazing Grace"
Moonlighting1986TV Series writer - 1 episode
David Lee Roth1986Video short writer: "Yankee Rose", "Goin' Crazy"


The Retinal Circus2013VideoNarrator
Steve Vai: Live from Club Nokia2012TV Movie
Metalocalypse2009TV SeriesDamien Cornickelson
Crazy2008/IIHank Williams
Crossroads1986Jack Butler


G3 Live in Denver2004Video documentary
Steve Vai: Live at the Astoria London2003Video
G3 Live in Concert1996Video documentary
Steve Vai: Alien Love Secrets1995Video short

Music Department

Halo 22004Video Game musician: guitar
Ghosts of Mars2001musician: guitar - uncredited
Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey1991composer: additional music


Where the Wild Things Are2009Video executive producer
Crazy2008/IIexecutive producer
Steve Vai: Live at the Astoria London2003Video producer


Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet2012Documentary special thanks
Tommy Emmanuel: Center Stage2008TV Movie special thanks


Do You Think I'm a Joke?Documentary filmingHimself
Dude! Where's My Music?Documentary post-productionHimself
Hired Gun2016DocumentaryHimself
Hell's Kitchen2016TV SeriesHimself - Guitarist
The Ritchie Blackmore Story2015DocumentaryHimself
Pop Wrapped TV2015TV Series documentary
Sharon Isbin: Troubadour2014DocumentaryHimself - interviewee / guitarist
Summer '82: When Zappa Came to Sicily2014DocumentarySteve Vai
Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet2012DocumentaryHimself
27th Annual NAMM/TEC Les Paul Award Tribute honoring Steve Vai2012ShortHimself
My First Guitar2011DocumentaryHimself
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno1993-2010TV SeriesHimself - Guest Musician / Himself
I'm in a Rock 'n' Roll Band2010TV Mini-Series documentary
American Idol2010TV Series
Orianthi and Steve Vai: Highly Strung2010Video shortHimself
That Metal Show2009TV SeriesHimself - Guest
Where the Wild Things Are2009VideoHimself
Rock Prophecies2009Documentary
The Story of the Guitar2008TV Series documentaryHimself
Zappa Plays Zappa2007VideoHimself
G3 Live in Tokyo2005VideoHimself
Score!: An Interview with Guitarist Steve Vai2005Video shortHimself - Guest
G3 Live in Denver2004Video documentaryHimself
Steve Vai: Live at the Astoria London2003VideoHimself
The 44th Annual Grammy Awards2002TV SpecialHimself
Scoring Ghosts of Mars2001Video documentary shortHimself
The 43rd Annual Grammy Awards2001TV SpecialHimself
The Genius of Lenny Breau1999Documentary
G3 Live in Concert1996Video documentaryHimself
Steve Vai: Alien Love Secrets1995Video shortHimself
Zappa's Universe1993VideoHimself - Guitar
Ein Leben als Extravaganza - Das Genie Frank Zappa1993TV Movie documentaryHimself
Joe Satriani: The Satch Tapes1993VideoHimself
Late Night with David Letterman1990-1992TV SeriesHimself
Leyendas de la guitarra1991TV Movie documentaryHimself
Guitar1991Video documentarySteve Vai
Hard 'N Heavy Volume 101991Video documentaryHimself - Whitesnake
Metalhead Video Magazine Volume 21990Video documentaryHimself
Hard 'N Heavy Volume 111990Video documentaryHimself
Hard 'N Heavy Volume 21989VideoHimself
Video from Hell1985VideoHimself
The Dub Room Special!1984VideoHimself

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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