Steve Vai recalls the time he went to Paisley Park to jam with Prince – but Prince didn’t show up

Steve Vai and Prince
(Image credit: Scott Dudelson / Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

As legend has it, Steve Vai and Prince almost had one of the jams of the century, when Vai took to a trip to the Purple One’s Paisley Park studio. However, as things panned out, the two never ended up trading licks, because Prince never actually showed up to the session.

Instead, Vai was left to jam into the early hours of the morning with Sonny T. and Michael Bland, Prince’s bass guitar player and drummer at the time. Footage of the night supposedly exists, but it’s since been lost, and has never been seen by the public eye.

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Matt Owen
Senior Staff Writer,

Matt is a Senior Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.