Guitarist extraordinaire Steve Vai is out with a new live DVD, although it’s doubtful that anything on this new DVD, which is entitled Where the Wild Things Are, can compare with some of the wild experiences Vai had early on in his career when he was touring with David Lee Roth of Van Halen fame.
Roth, along with his band mates in Van Halen where rumored to be a bit on the wild side when they were on tour, to say the least. There were tales of a secret system that the band had worked out for use during shows where members of their crew were given signals from the stage regarding certain females from the audience that they wanted to get to know a bit better.
Although Vai surely has plenty of stories to tell about his days on the road and the wild things he witnessed, he seems to distance himself from certain activities that were orchestrated by Roth and his crew.
“Actually, I was never really wild,” Vai says, as he explains the scene he found himself in as part of Roth’s group. Massive parties with 50 or specifically chosen females from the audience were the norm. Playing arenas where Vai reports that 80% of the crowd consisted of girls in their underwear certainly seems likely to create a mood that might lead to events that may sound like legends from the days of Caligula.
For Vai, it was an atmosphere he seemed content to remain on the outskirts of. He admits to feeling “like a bee sitting on the rim of the cup sipping the honey,” and reports that he “just had a taste now and then.”
Apparently the money flowed as freely as the sex on a David Lee Roth tour, as the normal routine was for them to rent two entire floors of a hotel in order to create a “buffer” floor between them and the rest of the hotel. Something that the other guests would have probably appreciated if they had known about it.
There had to have been little doubt in Vai’s mind what kind of experience he was in for after his first day on tour with “Diamond Dave.”
“I’ll never forget,” he says. “I came out of my room and looked down the hall and saw one of the notorious techs and he’s walking down the hall naked with one of these girls I saw under the sink and she was naked. That was my introduction to day one with David Lee Roth on tour!”
Read more from Steve Vai at Spinner.