[Cover photo credit to Larry DiMarzio]
Steve Vai and Favored Nations / Mascot Label Group have released VAI / GASH digitally and on CD, with a vinyl album following on February 24th, 2023. The album’s materials date from 1991 and stem from a collaboration with friend John “Gash” Sombrotto, a vocalist. Three singles are out now, including The three songs presented in to the release are “She Saved My Life Tonight”, “In The Wind”, and “Busted”.
Vai / Gash was written and recorded in somewhat of a stream of consciousness in 1991 within perhaps a 2-week period as an answer to my desire to have a particular kind of music to listen to when I was riding my Harley Davison Motorcycle with my friends. One of those friends was John ‘Gash’ Sombrotto, who is the powerful singer on this record. It’s reminiscent of a certain type of rock music I enjoyed as a teenager in the 1970’s. These recordings sat on the shelf for over 30 years and are being released now in 2023.
John “Gash” Sombrotto was an avid motorcycle enthusiast who had endured widespread traumatic injuries and burns due to a biking accident as a young man. Vai bonded with him over motorcycle culture and this eventually led to their collaboration.
At first sight, many people could be taken by his bald head, scarred neck and burnt-off ear. Looking as he did and riding a Harley it was easy to assume he was perhaps a tough, menacing biker with a nefarious attitude, but after engaging with him for even a minute, his charm and magnetic charisma had them laughing in their shoes and completely enjoying his uplifting presence. He endeared people with his wit, warmth, and sparkle. John hit it off instantly with the most unlikely of people of every age, color, size, political or sexual persuasions. He was non superficial and never judged people. This allowed his engaging personality and intoxicating charm to draw you in. Under all those scars was a bold and fearlessly warm heart that can be seen in his disarming and big soft blue eyes.
After finishing their album, Vai had another project he was hoping to do with Sombrotto, but Sombrotto was sadly killed in a bike accident soon afterwards. Now, after 30 years, Vai is releasing their music. His reason for waiting this long were personal.
As he says:
Disheartened, I put the entire project on the shelf, and would listen to it at least once a year for the past 30 years, especially around the anniversary of his passing. Then recently something compelled me to want to put it out now. I wish you would have had a chance to get to know John. I believe you would have loved him just as we all did. For now, he is ‘In the Wind’.
Steve Vai will resume the Inviolate World Tour in Europe this March.
24 March Lisbon, Portugal CCB
26 March Porto, Portugal Casa da Musica
27 March Malaga, Spain Teatro Cervantes
29 March Huelva, Spain Gran Teatro de Huelva
31 March Madrid, Spain La Riviera
01 April Bilbao, Spain Santana 27 – Sala Gold
02 April Barcelona, Spain Sala Parallel 62
04 April Vigo, Spain Auditorio Mar de Vigo
05 April Gijón, Spain Audiotorio de La Universidad Laboral
07 April Milan, Italy Teatro Dal Verme
08 April Jesolo (Venezia), Italy PalaInvent
11 April Munich, Germany Technikum
12 April Budapest, Hungary Akvarium Klub
13 April Zagreb, Croatia Culture Factory
14 April Bratislava, Slovakia Refinery Gallery
18 April Ankara, Turkey Congresium Ankara
19 April Istanbul, Turkey VW Arena
21 April Thessaloniki, Greece Principal Club
22 April Athens, Greece Fuzz Live Music Club
24 April Bucharest, Romania Sala Mare (The Great Hall)
25 April Sofia, Bulgaria NDK Hall 3
26 April Skopje, N. Macedonia SRC Kale
27 April Belgrade, Serbia MTS dvorana
28 April Brno, Czech Republic Semilasso
29 April Prague, Czech Republic Lucerna Music Bar
01 May Wroclaw, Poland Majowka Festival – Hala Stulecia
02 May Krakow, Poland ICE
03 May Lublin, Poland CSK
05 May Riga, Latvia Palladium
06 May Tallinn, Estonia Noblessner Foundry
07 May Helsinki, Finland House of Culture