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For the last 13 years, the only constant in Steve Vai’s touring career has been guitarist Dave Weiner.

Fresh out of college back in Pennsylvania with an Accounting degree, Dave moved to Los Angeles in 1998 to attend Musician’s Institute: Guitar Institute of Technology.

“No matter how many years of schooling I went through, after it was over, I always said I was heading to LA to go to GIT,” explains Dave. “Since I was 10 years old, I knew guitar was my calling… and school in sunny LA where I play guitar all day sounds like a great place to get something started.”

“I knew once I was in LA, I had to start meeting people. I was at GIT to learn and play to get to a level where I could sustain a career playing music, but if I was the best at what I did and no one knew about it, what good is that?”

So, the first day of school, Dave found MI’s job board. “There were probably 50 pieces of paper stapled up on this board. I happened to find one that said ‘…small artist management firm seeks intern. Make your own hours…‘ I was interested in learning what a manager does and making my own hours was exactly what I needed to do. There were no names; just a fax number. So I faxed my resume in. That night I got a call from a woman from the firm. We chatted and she eventually named her clients, the last of which was Steve Vai. She asked if I knew who he was… of course.” So Dave took the internship doing basic office tasks. “I’d get mail, lunch, process orders, etc. Very basic office stuff while I was observing and learning the day-to-days in a management firm. Once in a while I’d take some papers to Vai. Every time I met him he called me a different name, but at that point, that was fine with me. I’d correct him and just try to be professional”.

After a year at GIT, Dave was asked by some recording students if he’d be willing to perform a few songs for their final project and said "sure". "I told Vai I was going to be recording the demo. He said, ‘Cool, let me hear it when it’s done’."

Dave tracked the demo, gave it to Steve and didn’t hear anything about it. “I figured it was just put into the pile of countless other demos Vai gets.” Weeks went by until one Friday in September of 1999, the phone rings. It’s Vai, “…I really liked your demo. You can obviously play. I’m about to start rehearsals for a world tour, I could use another guitar player. Would you like to join the band?”

Forward to late 2000. One full world tour done, Dave’s got some time off before the next and decides it’s time to get things started with his own music. "I was well received by the fans on the Vai tour, they were going to see me again, the market was right in front of my face.”

So Dave started writing his debut instrumental record Shove The Sun Aside, which was recorded in between tours during the following years and released in 2004, then rereleased in 2005 after being licensed to Vai’s label, Favored Nations.

Since then, Weiner has released two more albums and has toured the world several times with Steve Vai.

TonePrints by Dave Weiner

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Dave Weiner Flashback Delay Toneprint: "Dave's Party Delay"

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