Ok, yeah I have the Ibanez JEM (most recent purchase) but I didn't buy it to be like Steve, I bought it because it's a heck of a guitar! I just wanted to get that outta the way up front.
Now on to my thoughts on Steve.......
I heard about Steve and the 'Black Page' back in the 80s. I remember a 'Guitar Player' magazine that included a disc of 'The Attitidue Song' and that was probably the first that I remember hearing him play. Of course I played that thing to death (you had to put the penny on the thing right on the little circle imprinted near the credits)!
I recently bought 'Flexable' just so that I have it. My real interest in Steve came in the David Lee Roth era. I was such a huge Van Halen fan and when they broke up I was floored! I was really surprised when Roth's "Eat 'Em and Smile" album was better than VH's '5150, but it really was!
Vai and Billy Sheehan in the same band is downright lethal. Their combined work along with Roth's humorous, tongue-in-cheek lyrics are nuts! I love things like 'Elephant Gun' and 'Big Trouble'. But that whole damn album is awesome (yeah, I even like "That's Life")
Alcatrazz years - didn't pay much attention, wasn't a big Yngwie fan so I didn't care much about Alcatrazz
Whitesnake years - didn't pay much attention (I think he was only on 'Slip of the Tongue' in 1989).
Solo artist - Passion and Warfare blows me away! 'For the Love of God', "Greasy Kid's Stuff" and of course 'The Audience is Listening' are wonderful.
But probably my favorite Steve Vai tune is ' Blue Powder'. That song has so much feeling and emotion in it. And it transfers so well on the guitar. The clean chords and distorted leads have a great interaction and just his use of the whammy, harmonics and touch are extreme. To me this tune captures the essence of Steve Vai.
Other albums like 'Alien Love Secrets' and 'Fire Garden' are good as well. And if you follow Steve you'll know that song 7 on each of his CDs is usually a very emotional tune. So pick up 'The 7th Song' cd, you'll be glad you did.
I also love his work with the G3 tours. I watch the G3 tour with Satch, Vai and Johnson regularly, you can pick up a lot from those guys.
Oh and by the way, his guitar is killer! (Thanks Steve and Ibanez)