Bad Horsie

Album: Alien Love Secrets (1995)

Songfacts®:

  • The riff for this song is something Steve Vai came up with for the movie Crossroads (not the one with Britney Spears - this was the 1986 film starring Ralph Macchio). In the film, Vai's character engages in a climactic guitar duel with Macchio's guitar-slinger. The script called for Vai to play a locomotive-like guitar part to intimidate Macchio's character, so Vai had to come up with something for the film. He tuned down his guitar and developed the chugga-chugga riff thinking about the heavy metal of a train coming through.

    It was a high point of the film, but Vai didn't turn it into a full-length song until nine years later. In our interview with Vai, he told us how it happened: "One night, I had this bizarre dream where I was on this giant metal horse and we were running through this field. This train was chasing us, and you know when you're in a field of grass, you don't know where the tracks are? So every place you turn, the train was following. So then I decided to turn the horse around and go directly at the front of the train, and that's when I woke up, before we collided. That's when I said, 'OK, I've got to write a song about this.'"
  • Vai pushed the wah-wah pedal to its limits on this track, not only earning him the #7 spot on Guitar World's 2015 list of greatest wah solos of all time, but also inspiring the Steve Vai Bad Horsie Wah pedal by Morley.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Lori McKennaSongwriter Interviews

Lori's songs have been recorded by Faith Hill and Sara Evans. She's performed on the CMAs and on Oprah. She also has five kids.

Artis the SpoonmanSong Writing

Even before Soundgarden wrote a song about him, Artis was the most famous spoon player of all time. So why has he always been broke?

Yoko OnoSongwriter Interviews

At 80 years old, Yoko has 10 #1 Dance hits. She discusses some of her songs and explains what inspired John Lennon's return to music in 1980.

MetallicaFact or Fiction

Beef with Bon Jovi? An unfortunate Spandex period? See if you can spot the true stories in this Metallica version of Fact or Fiction.

David Bowie Lyrics QuizMusic Quiz

How well do you know your David Bowie lyrics? Take this quiz to find out.

History Of RockSong Writing

An interview with Dr. John Covach, music professor at the University of Rochester whose free online courses have become wildly popular.