Steve Vai on how Led Zeppelin’s Heartbreaker inspired his guitar journey: “I’m like, ‘That is the coolest thing ever. I want it’”

“It was the meanest, coolest, most refreshing, alive, vibrant, visceral attack on the strings that I had ever heard,” recalled the guitarist.

Guitar virtuoso Steve Vai recently revealed how Led Zeppelin’s Heartbreaker had led him on the path to guitar greatness.

Sharing how Jimmy Page’s guitar magic had inspired his young self during an interview with Raised On Radio, Vai said: “Usually, we were inspired by the music that our parents are bringing or our siblings are bringing home. My sister brought home Led Zeppelin in the middle of my fascination with compositional music. And once I heard it, and I already had a love affair with the guitar going, and I heard that song ‘Heartbreaker’ I knew what was going on.”

“It was the meanest, coolest, most refreshing, alive, vibrant, visceral attack on the strings that I had ever heard. And it just lit me up. And that was it.”

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When asked if he ever told the Led Zeppelin guitarist about the impact he had on Vai’s music journey, Vai laughed and said, “he knows.”

“When he was being awarded an honorary doctorate of music at Berkeley, they asked me to write something for him. I’ll have to paraphrase, but it was something to the effect of – in the physical universe, there are things that include stars and planets, all life and all dimension.

“And then there’s the space that enables these things to exist. That space is a vital element since 1968 for every kid that has picked up a guitar to try to find his voice on the instrument. Jimmy Page has been the space that enables all of our notes to be played,” Vai concluded.

Check out the full interview below.

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