From Steve Vai to Cobra Kai, plus an exclusive Frank Zappa flashback – only in the new Guitar World

March 2022
(Image credit: Larry DiMarzio)

“At that point, I thought, ‘OK, this is what it feels like at the end of the road. I’m going to have to retire from the thing I love.”

That quote is from none other than Steve Vai, who – after back-to-back surgeries (one on his shoulder and another on his thumb) – was in danger of possibly having to give up the guitar for good. Luckily, Vai is no quitter, so he basically stopped complaining and put in the work required to keep him in his natural spot — at the top of the guitar-playing universe. 

Along the way, he recorded a dazzling new album and picked up a crazy, triple-neck guitar called the Hydra – custom built by Ibanez, of course!

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Damian Fanelli
Editor-in-Chief, Guitar World

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas, was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron, a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums. He now plays in two NYC-area bands.