Nita Strauss: Steve Vai Is “My First and Still Ultimate” Guitar Inspiration | VIDEO

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PHOTO: Tim Mosenfelder | Getty Images

Nita Strauss says she credits Steve Vai’s performance in the 1986 movie Crossroads with inspiring her to play guitar.

Strauss, who plays guitar with Alice Cooper and the Iron Maidens, made the reveal during an appearance on D’Addario’sGuitar Power show, which you can view below. (We’ve also included the scene from the movie, for those of you who don’t have it seared into your memory.)

“It’s the scene at the end when Vai comes out and they do the whole battle,” she tells host Alain Johannes, referring to the famous duel between Vai’s Jack Butler and Ralph Macchio’s Eugene Martone. “I remember thinking, How come no one told me you could do that with a guitar. That looks like fun. I was like, That’s what I’m supposed to be doing!”

Strauss also reveals that she comes from a musical family—her ancestors include Austrian composer Johann Strauss—and talks about her connection to the guitar and her interest in neoclassical music and players, including Yngwie Malmsteen and Jason Becker.

And along the way she turns in a fair amount of excellent shredding as well, so check out the entire episode, and visit D’Addario’s YouTube channel for more great videos.

Also, be sure to check out Nita’s episode of Guitar Player’s No Guitar Is Safe podcast, which you can download here along with all our other great podcasts.