STEVE VAI, “The Moon And I”, Recorded in Greece, April 2000, under my watch!, by Nasos Kavathas
THE MOON AND I song was 'born' and recorded on the soundcheck of the first concert of Steve Vai in Greece, under my watch: as a co-producer/agent/promoter. April 2000, 20 years ago. Also, the songs POWER OF BOMBOS (Greece), INCANTATION (Bulgaria) that were included in the ALIVE IN AN ULTRA WORLD live album, were recorded then and there, in Thessaloniki and Athens. (And I think IBERIAN JEWEL too). Those were the last days of the tour, so, they HAD to work fast and get 'final' results.
I mean: 3 tracks of the live album AND Steve's own favourite song with lyrics of his own, 4 in all, quite a nice bunch for a 2 afternoons (soundchecks) and nights' (concerts) worth of work. A "stars-aligned' moment in time that Steve Vai still treasures publicly.
Quite experienced by then, those were "my" first 'personified' concerts, passion projects, I insisted that I do almost everything because I knew how to line it all up –the business knew me and I knew the business. I knew how to work 'em out.
A succesful music artist/producer/writer myself, I knew it was going to be a sensation IF I was in charge. And, really, it was all great. Hard work, but with a surprisingly great outcome, (if you care for artistic values as I do, no good money for me in it).
The whole story, the whole experience is so interesting that I seriously think of writing it down in detail. Maybe as a 50-60 pages chapter in a book with similar stories with BRIAN MAY, BRUCE DICKINSON, DREAM THEATER, KANSAS, TOTO, to name just a few. We'll see.
Being me, I always had a tape-recorder (back then) with me, so: I actually have these entire soundchecks and concerts recorded incidentally and later transferred in digital ('open' recordings, not the best sound, but 'fly on the wall' documents nevertheless). If there were smart-phones back then, I'd have a full documentary.
Well, until I get the memoir-writing done, I really enjoy the reality of having a unique insight in Vai-and-band proceedings. Great guys.
Mike Kenneally and Mike Mangini in the band, then. A tight unit touring the great 'ULTRA ZONE' album. The last Vai concerts with that band line-up actually.
But most of all I love the fact that those four recordings have "my" kinda-contribution. Had I not insisted strongly to bring Vai in Greece, with me managing it all, well, some other songs would be there in the albums ALIVE IN AN ULTRA WORD (2001) and THE STORY OF LIGHT (2012) - no MOON AND I, no POWER OF BOMBOS for sure.
I love it.
Seeing Steve mentioning THE MOON AND I again and again to this day –in his ALIEN GUITAR SECRETS and UNDER IT ALL Podcasts, Tuesdays and Wednesdays- is such a personal joy. I WAS THERE when it happened. More so, THE GUYS WERE THERE BECAUSE I MADE IT HAPPEN.
Not claiming anything more than the pure joy of it all, not as an artist per se, but as an artist in position to make it all work perfectly. And of course it all did. Those concerts were really groundbreaking in Greece, especially for the musicians at large.
Ok, I'll write it all down, soon enough I guess.
THE MOON AND I goes the long run, a "signature-song" for Steve who plans to record a more 'orchestrated' version.
Sure enough I will record a version with my vocals on it, on a pocket-change budget! I love the song, (I love ALL ABOUT EVE too, from FIREGARDEN).
And I kinda regret, to this day, that then, April 2000, I didn't get across to Steve that he could have a willing and able vocalist in me -revered in Greece back then as the best 'rock' vocalist/songwriter around- if he ever needed one. Well, he probably wouldn't, and anyway: I was busy doing the hard job first, running the concerts and everything around them, there was no 'window' to pursue anything like that.
It could but it didn't! (explanations will be included in the memoir-thing).
However, I ride along THE MOON AND I's future and THE POWER OF BOMBOS uniqueness - plus the crazy story of the making of '..BOMBOS'. And all the other stories, 17-19 April, 2000.
The 1st photo, I probably shot it during "..BOMBOS", April 2000, Athens, Greece. The second is from 2012, when we met again.
Steve mentions THE MOON AND I in both of the recent podcasts I linked here.
44:54" in ALIEN GUITAR SECRETS Episode 3
56:46" in ALIEN GUITAR SECRETS Episode 4