Steve Vai had already established his credentials as a guitar wizard by the time he joined Whitesnake in 1989. After beginning his career at the age of 18 as a transcriptionist for Frank Zappa, Vai had joined Zappa’s band before going on to play in Alcatrazz and, subsequently, David Lee Roth’s band. During that time, he had also launched his own successful solo career.
Vai’s stint in Whitesnake was brief, lasting only about two years, and produced just one album with the group, 1989’s Slip of the Tongue. In 1990, the band took the album on tour, during which they performed at the Monsters of Rock Festival at Castle Donington, on August 18, 1990.
The clip below comes from that show and features Vai performing an eight-minute solo that includes a medley of “For the Love of God” and “The Audience Is Listening,” from his second solo album, Passion and Warfare, which was released that same year. Vai is introduced by singer David Coverdale, who calls him “His Royal Darkness…the Seven-String Sorcerer.” Enjoy this moment of magic.