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Steve Vai Plays "For the Love of God" for the First Time in 1991

On October 19, 1991, in Seville, Spain, Steve Vai played his now-classic 1990 track, "For the Love of God," for the first time in front of a live audience.

You can check out the emotional performance, which took place as part of a music festival called ExpoSevilla 1992, below.

“The song is about how far people will go for the love of their god,” said Vai of the standout track from Passion and Warfare.

“When you discipline yourself to quit smoking, to run faster or to play better, you have to reach deep down into a part of you. That is a profoundly spiritual event. That’s when you come into contact with that little piece of God within you. That’s what I was trying to achieve with ‘For the Love of God’—I was trying to find that spot.”

Compare the audience's tepid "Oh, OK, a new song" reaction at :18 to their boisterous applause at 7:59.

Damian Fanelli

Damian is editor-in-chief of Guitar World magazine. From 1998 to 2014, he was one third of Mister Neutron, an instrumental rock act that toured the universe and elsewhere and released three albums via Austin-based Deep Eddy Records. These days he performs with several New York City-area bands and can often be spotted with one of his many, many, many B-bender-equipped guitars. In past lives he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor – and he still can’t believe he got to write the liner notes for the latest SRV box set.