Re: Vai Performance Flame Jem
I'm the owner of the Flame pictured in Rich's link above. I spent a lot of time researching flames before I bought mine, and I've spoken to the original owner (who also owns 2 more flames) many times since. Sadly there's not a lot of info out there on these great guitars. Even the folks at Performance have vague memories of the design and there's the added Japanese language barrier too. I can tell you that my Performance flame has all original hardware that would have come stock on these guitars back in the 80's: Performance pickup, Performance tuners, Performance headstock logo with "Jem" stenciled in block letters, and most importantly (imo) a Performance neckplate with engraved logo and serial number. I did pull the neck and other than some vague numbers and the word "Jem" stamped on there, there's no real build info. Interesting to note is the tilt-back headstock and truss rod adjustment at the headstock on mine....other Performance Flames I've seen have the straight bananna headstock and no adjustment at the head, but the owner also has another flame with the tilt so it's tough to say what's what. Of his 3 Flames, he said the colors all vary a bit from each other. And 2 had the word "Jem" in block letters, while one had the Jem in handwritten script paint pen. These were mostly hand-made axes so I think all we can be assured of (25+ years after their creation) is that the Performance shop varied the specs a little on each of the ones they built, and we'll never know the reasons. It's a super cool part of rock history so most importantly, enjoy your axe, original or not!