Steve Vai remembered the wild days of being in David Lee Roth‘s band between 1985 and 1989, telling The Andertons during a recent interview:
“I experienced the excess when it was appropriate to experience it, and then I moved on from it. I don’t know how people tour now in rock bands. They seem serious. Back then, man… Like with Dave Roth, there was nothing like it. I can’t even tell ya…
“I tell some people and it sounds unbelievable what went on. It was just fantastic. I was more of an observer. When you’re in a situation like that – you’re selling out arenas around the world, you’re virtually famous over night, you’re selling tons of records and people change around you… And that’s okay, I get it.
“But you have access to money, all kinds of sex, anything you’re interested in, it’s just there. And on tour with Dave it was there in, like, exponentially. [Laughs]
“But as I was going through it, I knew that it was a fun game, so to speak. I didn’t do drugs, I was in a relationship, I wasn’t promiscuous in that way really. I liked the money, but I never bought fancy cars or stuff like that.
“So it was really great because I didn’t get sucked into it. It was like a colorful fly on the wall. And I knew instinctually that it was gonna pass. All you gotta do is look and it passes. So I really embraced it and loved it.
“But there was also a particular type of music that I knew was in me that was eventually gonna have to come out. So that when after the Dave Roth thing, I did [1990’s] ‘Passion and Warfare.’