Steve Vai Addresses Jimmy Page’s Effect On His ‘Steady Guitar Diet’

Former Frank Zappa guitarist Steve Vai recently reflected on the early influences on his music career during an appearance on Indie Power TV. Apparently, he has a long list of musicians from whom he drew inspiration such as Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page who is a part of Vai’s ‘steady guitar diet.’

Led Zeppelin is one of the influential bands in Steve Vai’s music career, as his interest in rock music pretty much started thanks to the band. At the age of eleven, Vai was introduced to rock and progressive music after hearing the guitar solo to Led Zeppelin’s ‘Heartbreaker‘ from their second studio album, ‘Led Zeppelin II.’

In addition to playing a huge role in his decision to start playing the guitar, Led Zeppelin was the first band Steve Vai saw on stage. The guitarist recalled those times by saying that the band’s performance at the Madison Square Garden was the first real concert he had ever been.

During a recent interview, Steve Vai recalled the first time he ever heard Led Zeppelin, thanks to his sister. After hearing ‘Heartbreaker,’ he decided to dedicate himself to becoming a guitar player and started taking lessons from fellow musician Joe Satriani.

According to the guitarist, there are a variety of musicians from who he drew inspiration for his own style. His list especially consists of the players of the 1970s, including Jimmy Page, Brian May, and Ritchie Blackmore, all of whom create a part of his ‘steady guitar diet’ along with guitarists from other genres such as jazz guitarist Al Di Meola.

About Led Zeppelin and Page, Vai said:

“My sister was listening to Led Zeppelin. The moment that I heard, I was about 10 maybe 11 years old, the solo in ‘Heartbreaker’ on ‘Led Zeppelin II,’ I believe that’s when there was a real shift in wishing to play the instrument to the determination that I wanted to play.

Now I’m looking for a guitar. Then when I was about 12, a friend of mine sold me his guitar. He had one hanging on the wall in his bedroom, and I bought it for five dollars.

I actually started taking lessons from Joe Satriani. I would say the rock guitar players of the ’70s like Jimmy Page, Brian May, Ritchie Blackmore, and then into fusion like Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin, even some jazz. That was always a part of my steady guitar diet.”

You can watch the entire interview below.