We’ve all dreamed of performing a ripping guitar solos on an Ibanez after watching our guitar heroes do it on one track after another. Steve Vai, Paul Gilbert, Joe Satriani are just some of the Ibanez-playing legends you know… But do you know all of these awesome under-the-radar performances?
Steve Vai on M83’s Go!
After the commercial success of Grammy Award-nominated Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, electronic music project M83 went one step further. On the album’s second single, Go!, Steve Vai’s blistering solo gift-wrapped the track’s drum breaks and breathy vocals. M83 lead Anthony Gonzalez had this to say of Vai:
“We asked for the craziest space solo possible, which wasn’t hard for him. He sent us three different takes, and we blended two to make the ultimate Steve Vai solo. It was amazing to work with him.”
Steve Vai in Whitesnake
Before his electronic music cameo, Vai had a hair metal adventure. Future Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell had left Whitesnake and left them short. Steve got the call after their second guitarist injured his wrist, and went on playing all of the guitars on the Slip of the Tongue album in 1989.
Vai approved of David Coverdale and his band: “When Whitesnake came along — I mean, I liked the music of Whitesnake. That record that they released with ‘Still of the Night’ and all that — that was huge. It sounded great, and David Coverdale‘s an incredible singer.”
Herman Li on BABYMETAL’s Road Of Resistance
Don’t let BABYMETAL’s second studio album, Metal Resistance, fool you. Fans of Dragonforce will have no complaints about the record, especially its opener, Road of Resistance. Released as a collaboration with Herman Li and Sam Totman, the legendary power-slingers of Dragonforce combine with BABYMETAL’s teenage vocalists for a pleasant surprise.
Herman Li laughed in an interview explaining the experience with BABYMETAL, “I really enjoyed working with them, it was probably the smoothest project I’ve ever worked on. Way more than doing a Dragonforce album!”
Joe Satriani with Deep Purple
Joe Satriani’s stint with Deep Purple came in late 1993. Joe joined the band’s Japanese tour. After sell-out concerts and beaming headlines, Joe was asked to join the band permanently, replacing Ritchie Blackmore. He politely declined due to other record commitments.
Joe Satriani playing Smoke On The Water – if that excites you, imagine what it did for him!
“I do remember right before the first time we were going to play that song,” Satriani says. “I was standing on stage for a minute or two and I had my eyes closed and I kept thinking ‘wow, I’m going to play Smoke On The Water with Deep Purple.”
Andy Timmons for Olivia Newton-John
Andy Timmons came to fame with his band Danger Danger, selling millions of records and sharing the stage with Kiss and Alice Cooper along the way. In 2011, Timmons saw his name in bright lights again after his emotive rendition of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper, arranged for only his Ibanez. Sandwiched in between though, was his association with Olivia Newton-John, as guitarist and music director.
How did Timmons see his panache play out for Newton-John’s pop and country music? In his own words: “I guarantee there are not many rock players that can do Olivia’s concert and do it well. Not that I’m patting myself on the back it’s just the way it is. It’s a pretty short list of guys that can do that, and I think for me that’s been a huge part of my ability to keep busy.”
Eddie Van Halen for their debut album
Van Halen’s debut album turned the hard rock metal genre on its head, with a distinct pedal-to-the-metal approach that ripped into the scene in 1978. Considered one of the best debuts of all time, the band’s sonic approach gained them recognition and fans, particularly for Eddie Van Halen’s speed and flair on the guitar. Furious, but extremely finessed, Van Halen’s riffs and solos formed the bedrock for a very memorable album.
The guitar in question? Eddie Van Halen’s Ibanez Destroyer.
Think you can emulate the above guitar virtuosos with an Ibanez in your hands? Go on then, check out our Ibanez catalogue here.