Music

Steve Vai, You Are My Father

Please Acknowledge My Existence

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SO YESTERDAY I WAS watching Maury and Maury Povich was all like, "You ARE the father!" Maury's always doing paternity testing, which is cool, 'cause kids need to know who their dads are. Trust me. I know. Or, like, I don't. All I know is that when I was like six and listening to Aerosmith's Permanent Vacation—"Dude Looks Like a Lady," bro! How sweet was that song?—I asked my mom why I didn't have a dad, and my all mom said was like, "Seth, you have the spirit of an artist inside of you." And I was all, "You mean Steven Tyler?" and she was like, "No, and turn that noise down. I can hear it all the way in my pottery studio, and I'm trying to listen to 'Uncle John's Band.'"

So I was like, "Thanks for nothing, Mom." Then I was like, "The Grateful Dead are nerds! Dude looks like a lady!" Then I ran into my room and closed the door and cried.

But even if my dad's not Steven Tyler, man, it's not like I don't have clues, dude. "An artist," she said. So I started thinking about artists. There's that one gay dude who painted that one ceiling in France or wherever? He's too old, though. And there's that one dude who took that picture of the dogs playing poker? Don't know who that is. But the other day I was listening to some tunes and playing a few chords and it hit me: Steve Vai!

Dude, you know Vai, right? Everybody knows Vai. It's like Satriani and Vai and Hendrix and Eddie Van Halen, man—when you're talking about people who know how to wield a sweet axe, that's them. I'm talking jams, I'm talking 20-minute solos that start on a stage and end up shooting past the Andromeda Galaxy while riding on a space unicorn's back, whipping past the Enterprise at like Warp Factor 950, and you're sitting there, baked, listening, and the music's going, "Dwee dwee dweeeeeeldedee bweedle da dweeeer dee de de" and you're like, "Whoa," and Lieutenant Worf is all like "Rocking off the port bow! Go to Red Alert!" That's fuckin' Steve Vai for you, man! And once you realize it, that's when everything crystallizes, man. Your whole life turns to crystal—and not just a normal crystal, but like this one sweet sculpture of a dragon I had once before I lost it that was made out of pink crystal and had little green crystals for eyes.

I tried calling Maury. I was like "Hey, Maury? I know who my dad is—I can feel his spirit inside of me—but we need to run a paternity test. My father's Steve Vai." And the person at Maury was like "Okay, first, this isn't Maury, and second, we aren't doing celebrity paternity tests, but we'll take your info and call if we ever do." So I told them I'd be waiting for the call. No dice so far, man. But I can wait. I can wait. But dude, just in case? I got tickets to the Steve Vai show! He's playing some hippie shit or whatever with some hippies—but shit, man, Steve Vai, right? And so if he's in town and he's shreddin' maybe he'll look out and he'll see me, and then maybe he and I could jam or something. No big deal if not, you know, 'cause clearly he's been really busy the past few years. But maybe. Just maybe.

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