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YouTube Fun with Paul Riario: Steve Vai, Eric Johnson, Michael Schenker and Uli Jon Roth

Here are five choice YouTube videos I've been meaning to share ...
Why I started liking Steve Vai:

Here's Steve looking and getting all Jack Butler with Graham Bonnett in Alcatrazz. Wicked solo. Pre-Ibanez days, with a Performance guitar, DiMarzio pickups and a really good sound.

  • Same thing. Just collect the solos from this show. Skip to 1:40-3:00 — pretty awesome playing, the kind of shredding that made us all love Vai in the first place:

Eric Johnson playing acoustic:

Something you don't see him doing as often. And what can I say? Look at that awesome hair. And the unreal chord shapes.

Eric Johnson doing Jimi Hendrix:

This is one of my favorite Jimi Hendrix songs, and Johnson kicks ass on it — except for the singing. I know it's "Spanish Castle Magic" as the refrain of the chorus, but I don't know what the hell he's singing there.

UFO with Michael Schenker and Uli Jon Roth:

Holy crap. Is it over when you start to dress like that onstage? Schenker with Chicago Bulls NBA shorts and a leather motorcycle jacket with Oakley shades to pull the look together? As Heidi Klum used to say on Project Runway, "I'm sorry, Michael, you are out ... auf Wiedersehen."

I try very hard to remain under the radar despite being on camera as gear editor, but in this age of social media it was only a matter of time before it had to come to this. So with that, I will make my blog painless and a quick and easy read so you can get on to more important things like practicing guitar and sweep picking, or if you’re like me, obsessing how to race the Tour De France and trying to be Kristen Stewart’s next mistake. I will use this blog to inform you of things I find cool; like new gear I’m playing through and what I’m watching, reading or listening to at any given moment. So feel free to ask me anything that’s gear related — or if you have a problem with your girlfriend, you know, life lesson stuff, I’m pretty good at that too — and I’ll do my best to answer or address it here.

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Paul Riario has been the tech/gear editor and online video presence for Guitar World for over 25 years. Paul is one of the few gear editors who has actually played and owned nearly all the original gear that most guitarists wax poetically about, and has survived this long by knowing every useless musical tidbit of classic rock, new wave, hair metal, grunge, and alternative genres. When Paul is not riding his road bike at any given moment, he remains a working musician, playing in two bands called SuperTrans Am and Radio Nashville.