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We posted some additional info on Bruno on the site: Vai.com - The Official Steve Vai Website
However, a more detailed description will surface at some point as this is a fan favorite. Steve used it partly during the last EU tour for "Zeus in Chains". Initially Bruno was supposed to be the backup for the Mirror Ball Universe, but for the first part of the tour, Steve preferred using Bruno, as the Mirror Ball is sonically somewhat more challenging. This will be adjusted for the US leg though. I have to double check, but I believe Bruno will recieve new frets in the next few weeks or so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
We posted some additional info on Bruno on the site: Vai.com - The Official Steve Vai Website
However, a more detailed description will surface at some point as this is a fan favorite. Steve used it partly during the last EU tour for "Zeus in Chains". Initially Bruno was supposed to be the backup for the Mirror Ball Universe, but for the first part of the tour, Steve preferred using Bruno, as the Mirror Ball is sonically somewhat more challenging. This will be adjusted for the US leg though. I have to double check, but I believe Bruno will recieve new frets in the next few weeks or so.
Oh, thank you!

I heard him play it on that tour.
Really an incredible sounding guitar.
That experience made me hunt down a UV of my own, which I just got this week :)
 

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the hardest of copying bruno lies in the swirl itself...no 2 ever look the same and with the finish being obscured by the burning we will never know exactly what it looked like previous to the burning (part of it looks like the planet jupiter to me, interesting in its own right)...even if they could reproduce the swirl, reproducing the burns would also be difficult at best as fire is unpredictable...could they do a tribute that was somewhat similar? sure, but recreating it like they did evo would be close to impossible imho...if it was a plain finish under the burn it may have been doable, but the unpredictable nature of the swirling process makes it exremely difficult even if they have a pic of bruno before it was burned...d.m.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
If I choose to do something similar to my UV, I'm not going to do so with the goal of achieving a 100% replica.
For one thing, mine is a "green dot" (a nice one, too) :)

The mirror pickguard, pups and knobs would be the same.
I'd get the paint finish as close to the spirit of Bruno as possible.
Obviously no pyramid inlays.
I also couldn't bring myself to burn the back of a beautiful early UV neck, and its the only thing I don't love about Bruno.

So, a Bruno tribute, for sure, but not a replica.
 

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If I choose to do something similar to my UV, I'm not going to do so with the goal of achieving a 100% replica.
For one thing, mine is a "green dot" (a nice one, too) :)
If you have a green dot, why not do a replica of Steve's favorite sounding universe, his polka dot UV. (SV 84 - Bodhi :Vai.com - The Official Steve Vai Website ).
He thinks it's his best sounding one, but it's a bit hard to play. It used to be completely covered with green dots, but slowly but surely they dropped off. I have one around here somewhere actually.
 

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Are you sure Bruno is front-routed? Universe MC had clear pickguards to show the whole swirl, but they were rear routed. I always thought it was a black/mirror pickguard installed to match Hendrix’s burnt strat that is now Dweezil’s.

Also the PMC prototype Thomas McRocklin used on The Audience is Listening vid had a black pickguard, but I don’t know if it was front or rear routed. No one knows what happened to that interesting guitar. Just dissapeared.
The guitar Thomas McRocklin is using in The Audience Is Listening is not a PMC prototype. It's a front-routed 6-string body swirled by Darren, and was a color test for the original swirls. Some good news: The guitar did not disappear. It's now owned by the Hard Rock Cafe - most recently on display next to the bar in Bangkok. It has "Jem Proto 1" stamped in the back of the headstock.

Here's a pic:
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Discussion Starter · #28 · (Edited)
The guitar Thomas McRocklin is using in The Audience Is Listening is not a PMC prototype. It's a front-routed 6-string body swirled by Darren, and was a color test for the original swirls. Some good news: The guitar did not disappear. It's now owned by the Hard Rock Cafe - most recently on display next to the bar in Bangkok. It has "Jem Proto 1" stamped in the back of the headstock.

Here's a pic:
View attachment 20394 View attachment 20395
This is great info, thank you!

So this echoes what Kyle said earlier in the thread about Bruno being a colour sample.
It seems that, for colour samples, Ibanez must have sent regular front-routed bodies to Darren and this explains why Bruno is front routed.

edit: I just realised you’re the legendary “Mikey” everyone mentions. From what I gather you work or have worked with Steve? Great to get insider info. Thanks, again!
 

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This is great info, thank you!

So this echoes what Kyle said earlier in the thread about Bruno being a colour sample.
It seems that, for colour samples, Ibanez must have sent regular front-routed bodies to Darren and this explains why Bruno is front routed.

edit: I just realised you’re the legendary “Mikey” everyone mentions. From what I gather you work or have worked with Steve? Great to get insider info. Thanks, again!
Hi! Yes that's me. I still work with Steve - it's been almost 20 years now. You'll be happy to know we are working on a massive photo book of Steve's guitars coming next year.

Regarding Bruno: It's possible Bruno was a color sample, yes, though there is a small chance that it was a rejected MKR. The blue and red on the back could be a result of the heat changing the colors, as it has on the front. I'll report further findings in the book.

The burned finish on Bruno is inspired by Frank Zappa's Hendrix Strat, which was burned by Jimi at the Astoria London on March 31, 1967. (The guitar is often incorrectly attributed to being from Monterey, or Miami Pop. FZ received it from Jimi's roadie "H" after the Miami Pop Festival.)

Though Steve recalls burning Bruno, he did not. It's likely he's thinking of "Cowgirl" his Performance guitar from the DLR tour, which he fire-treated as he had done on the wood panelling in Stucco Blue. Cowgirl's finish was emulated on the Root Beer Jems, of course. Steve's fascination with burning guitars later appeared again in the form of the Jem BSB.

I own the old melted pickups and knobs (and pickguard) from Bruno. Note the pickups are prototype 7-string DiMarzios made by cutting two pickups in half (3 and 4 pole) and gluing them together - which also raises the possibility that it was a very early rejected color prototype...

Body jewelry Product Font Creative arts Jewellery
 

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We posted some additional info on Bruno on the site: Vai.com - The Official Steve Vai Website
However, a more detailed description will surface at some point as this is a fan favorite. Steve used it partly during the last EU tour for "Zeus in Chains". Initially Bruno was supposed to be the backup for the Mirror Ball Universe, but for the first part of the tour, Steve preferred using Bruno, as the Mirror Ball is sonically somewhat more challenging. This will be adjusted for the US leg though. I have to double check, but I believe Bruno will recieve new frets in the next few weeks or so.
The Mirror Ball was used for the rhythm parts of ‘Under It All’ I think? That makes it extra special cool ;)
 

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Hi! Yes that's me. I still work with Steve - it's been almost 20 years now. You'll be happy to know we are working on a massive photo book of Steve's guitars coming next year.

Regarding Bruno: It's possible Bruno was a color sample, yes, though there is a small chance that it was a rejected MKR. The blue and red on the back could be a result of the heat changing the colors, as it has on the front. I'll report further findings in the book.

The burned finish on Bruno is inspired by Frank Zappa's Hendrix Strat, which was burned by Jimi at the Astoria London on March 31, 1967. (The guitar is often incorrectly attributed to being from Monterey, or Miami Pop. FZ received it from Jimi's roadie "H" after the Miami Pop Festival.)

Though Steve recalls burning Bruno, he did not. It's likely he's thinking of "Cowgirl" his Performance guitar from the DLR tour, which he fire-treated as he had done on the wood panelling in Stucco Blue. Cowgirl's finish was emulated on the Root Beer Jems, of course. Steve's fascination with burning guitars later appeared again in the form of the Jem BSB.

I own the old melted pickups and knobs (and pickguard) from Bruno. Note the pickups are prototype 7-string DiMarzios made by cutting two pickups in half (3 and 4 pole) and gluing them together - which also raises the possibility that it was a very early rejected color prototype...

View attachment 20396
What do you think of the theory that FLO is the floral pattern guitar Thomas mcrocklin borrowed from SV & cut the handle off of?
 

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The Mirror Ball was used for the rhythm parts of ‘Under It All’ I think? That makes it extra special cool ;)
It has been used on other tracks as well, but most notably of course as a whitesnake touring axe.
For me the coolest thing about "Under It All" is the working title: "Chatroom". That chatroom was one of my first deliverables to Mikey & vai.com when I came on board.. 18 years ago. I can't believe it's been that long.
Re: Flo: New details and info continue to pop up during recent research on many of Steve's guitars including Flo.
At this point I'm convinced that "All About Flo" needs a serious re-write and I'm actually contemplating on pulling it ofline for the time being (it needs technical work anyway), but what the final details will be eventually, I'll leave for you all to be discovered in the upcoming book Mikey mentioned...
 

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The Mirror Ball was used for the rhythm parts of ‘Under It All’ I think? That makes it extra special cool ;)
There were three 7-strings in the studio during the recording of Under It All: the Green dot UV (SV84) which Steve usually favors as a studio guitar; the Mirrorball, which had not been in the studio up until that point during the sessions; and a third hard-tail sunburst 7-string that had just arrived from LACS (SV109 Augustina). So while there's a possibility the Mirrorball appeared on the track, there were other 7s in the studio at the same time, one of which was Steve's standard go-to 7. The Mirrorball had a blocked trem at the time, so this might be a reason for its use.

"Under At All" was originally not going to be on the album. In fact, it hadn't been recorded for the album, and "Boogie Man" was going to be the last track. "Under It All" came about because in discussing the album with Ruta and me, we felt like the album needed a serious statement as a closer, and Steve agreed. He started constructing the track in late 2004 and played an almost-finished version for Ruta and me after the photoshoot for the Real Illusions album. We were blown away.

The track was also called "I'm The Paint" at one point. The track was also partially inspired by Fredrik Thordendal's "Z1 - Reticuli".
It also has a pretty wild sample in the opening sequence, and I'm not sure I want to reveal where it came from... LOL

But I digress.
 

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It has been used on other tracks as well, but most notably of course as a whitesnake touring axe.
For me the coolest thing about "Under It All" is the working title: "Chatroom". That chatroom was one of my first deliverables to Mikey & vai.com when I came on board.. 18 years ago. I can't believe it's been that long.
Re: Flo: New details and info continue to pop up during recent research on many of Steve's guitars including Flo.
At this point I'm convinced that "All About Flo" needs a serious re-write and I'm actually contemplating on pulling it ofline for the time being (it needs technical work anyway), but what the final details will be eventually, I'll leave for you all to be discovered in the upcoming book Mikey mentioned...
The chat room hang we had probably close to 10 years ago now was good fun. I find it hard to visit the ol’ forum now that jeries has passed, he was one of my best friends.

It’ll be cool to have the definitive FLO story. I’ll definitely be using the AAF pictures for the replicas, they’re almost done now..
 
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