Here’s one for the history books! I distinctly remember this Guitar Player issue early in 1984 containing a flimsy acetate record. I put the needle to the record and thought, “Shit this mofo can play!” Up until that point, Eddie Van Halen had been the only guitarist I heard that could turn my head. But “The Attitude Song” is the best 3 minutes & 23 seconds recorded since “Eruption!” There is everything a guitarist could want in this one fiery riffage like an AK-47 with tremendous piercing harmonies, B52 like dive bombs, screaming harmonics, and maddening solos. In fact, the whole album, Flexible, is a great moment in time…I think one of Vai’s best albums. He was hungry for the attention and it shows. Plus, there are very Zappa-ish moments as well with “Little Green Men,” “Salamanders In The Sun,” “Junkie,” and “So Happy.”
I knew Steve from Zappa, but I thought to myself, “Is this the same guy?” because he sure as shit didn’t sound like that on any Zappa records I heard. Then about a year and half later he showed up in the new line up for the David Lee Roth Band with Billy Sheehan & Gregg Bissonette, so I knew Vai had arrived and everyone was going to know about this new shredder!
About the Curator: Brian Tarquin
Multi Emmy Award winning Brian Tarquin is an established top rate composer/guitarist. He has won 3 Emmy's for “Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction and Composition for a Drama Series” and has been nominated for an Emmy 6 times. In 2019 Tarquin received a Global Music Gold Award for his release Orlando In Heaven for “Best Album.” Three years in a row (2016-2019) Tarquin received “Best Album of the Year” nominations from the Independent Music Awards for his releases: Guitars for Wounded Warriors, Orlando in Heaven, and Guitars for Veterans. On which, Tarquin shows his guitar prowess alongside such world-class shredders as: Steve Morse, Larry Coryell, Billy Sheehan, Bumblefoot (Guns N’ Roses), Reb Beach (Whitesnake), Chuck Loeb (FourPlay) to name a few. In 2006 SESAC honored him with the Network Television Performance Award. Tarquin has graced the Top Billboard Charts with such commercial releases as: This is Acid Jazz, Vol. 2, Sweet Emotions, and Bossa Brava: Caliente on Instinct Records, followed by several solo jazz albums, which charted Top 10 at Smooth Jazz Radio R&R and Gavin charts. Brian has appeared on 38 releases, selling over 140,000 records in his career.