Tender Surrender – Steve Vai – 1995
There are few songs which give me chills the first time I hear them, and even fewer that continue to do so several times over. Tender Surrender, from 1995, is one of those songs, and Steve Vai is one of the artists who inspired me to convince my sister to buy me a guitar for Christmas and try to teach myself how to play many years ago.
Of course, back then I was young and stupid, and I would have had about as much success trying to crack the Enigma Code as I did fingering the strings with any degree of competency. I was terrible. But my inability to play little more than a really bad (and slow) rendition of The Star Spangled Banner gave me a lot more appreciation for the deities of the guitar genre such as Vai.
Guitars are often viewed as sexy instruments, and the way Vai caresses his it’s easy to see why. He performs this as if he’s making love to the damn thing. Starting off very calm and mellow, the song soon builds to a technical crescendo that is difficult to disregard, even if you’re not a fan of the style.
I don’t know if this kind of skill can be learned, or if some people are just born with it in their DNA, but watching Steve Vai bring his guitar to orgasm on stage here, I’m inclined to believe the latter.