My Steve Vai

(A collection of videos, photos and blogs from 3-months on tour with guitar legend Steve Vai in 2012.)

You know that fantasy?  The one where a great rock legend calls you up and invites you on tour?

Suddenly there you are, playing to huge crowds of screaming fans, sleeping on a tour bus, living the rock-star life?

I play the harp – so you wouldn’t think I could realistically hold that fantasy – but everyone who’s seen me knows immediately that I want to be a rock star in some way or other.

Vai, bassist Philip Bymoe & Deborah Henson-Conant onstage

Vai, bassist Philip Bymoe & Deborah Henson-Conant onstage in "Story of Light" tour (photo: Sean Carpenter)

Not that I know anything about rock music – I don’t.  I know less than most people. But I know a lot about rock energy — and that’s what I love.  I love it so much that, even when I played the big concert harp I dreamed that I could shrink it, strap it on like an electric guitar, and run it through guitar effects.

I love it so much that I found a company in France willing to invest in creating that compacted harp – a 20-year journey that culminated in the 32-string wearable harp I play today.

But to actually take that instrument into the rock arena outside my own fantasy world – well, that was a complete fantasy.

Until Steve Vai emailed. 

Or someone claiming to be Steve Vai.

Dave Weiner, Steve Vai & Deborah Henson-Conant at "The Orange Peel" in Asheville, NC

Dave Weiner, Steve Vai & Deborah Henson-Conant at "The Orange Peel" in Asheville, NC (photo: Tammy Buckner)

Because when I got the email I was convinced it was a hoax – someone making fun of my obvious fantasy-life as an oxymoronic rock-star harpist. 

When this alleged-Steve-Vai invited me to a show, I was still convinced it was a joke, and someone would jump out at the box office laughing, “You fell for that?? I can’t believe it!”

But it was real.

And it was still hard to believe.

Deborah Henson-Conant on tour with Steve Vai (photo: Tammy Buckner)

Deborah Henson-Conant on tour with Steve Vai (photo: Tammy Buckner)

Once we started rehearsals I was convinced every day, that he was going to call me in and fire me – because I was so far out of my comfort zone that I’d begun to think I’d imagined my years of practice – and that I simply had no idea how to play music.

During all this I blogged.  Not weekly, and not about everything – it all went by so fast, and furious that now, a few months later, I’m just catching my breath.

On this page, I’m collecting blogs, videos and photos from my fantasy-come-to-life – My Steve Vai.

NOTE: I’m starting the page with a few blogs, videos & photos, and then adding them as we get them cataloged, so come back to see more!


 

Jamming with the Master (video) – In this short fan video, Vai and I trade licks during an early show on the tour.


In rehearsal with Steve Vai

Building a Box Out of Fog (blog) – When I started rehearsals with Vai, it was like a culture-shock. Nothing I’d learned as a musician to this point seemed relevant to this new (for me) art-form and I started to panic: “My God! Did I ever actually think I was a functioning musician???”


Steve Vai and Deborah Henson-Conant meet backstage in BostonHow I Met Steve Vai (blog)This blog tells how  I met Steve Vai and ended up joining his band for the Story of Light Tour (some of the story is the same as what you just read above – but with more detail).


When We’re Not on Stage (blog) - A glimpse into the offstage Off-Stage on Tourportion of our tour, and what really happens on the tour bus


MORE COMING SOON ….

This entry was posted in *RockHarp Diaries* and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to My Steve Vai

  1. Peter Daley says:

    Thanks for sharing that Deborah!

    I just bought a ticket for Steve’s Tokyo concert on August 1.
    Will you be performing with him??

    • HipHarp says:

      Hi Peter – I won’t be with Steve on this tour – I’ll be in Paraguay and the Netherlands with my own concerts. I’ll miss being with Steve but you are going to LOVE the show!!! I could watch it a hundred times .. oh … I DID! Well, I could watch it another hundred and love it all the more!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>