Discussion about my recent post on Van Halen’s 1984 brought up Steve Vai, who worked with David Lee Roth after he left Van Halen. Which brought to mind this blog post started in April that I’d never finished about another album that was released in 1984.
I originally had Steve Via’s Flex-Able on cassette tape. Must’ve been around 1987? I think my guitar teacher told me about it. Earlier this year, I reäcquired it in digital format.
This album isn’t your typical shred-guitar solo album. It’s not like Vai’s other albums. At least, to the extent that I’ve heard his other stuff. None of it that I’ve heard has appealed to me like the stuff on Flex-Able.
I think this album was one of the reasons I bought my first four-track recorder.
Guitar World did a 25th anniversary piece on the making of the album. While working for Frank Zappa, Steve built his own studio to record this album. He promised his friends who helped him out that one day he would pay them scale with interest for working on the album, and he eventually did. He refused to sign the deals that the record companies offered and did it all the work of releasing the album himself. Quite an accomplishment in 1984.