Bassist Stuart Hamm made a name for himself largely due to his work in the ‘80s, when he accompanied two of hard rock's leading guitarists, Joe Satriani and Steve Vai. Born in 1960 and raised in Indiana, Hamm was born into an extremely musically gifted family (his father is a musicologist and has penned music textbooks, his mother was an opera singer/teacher, and his brother taught Classical Northern Indian Music). After relocating to Virginia as a teenager, Hamm picked up the bass, and began studying the complex stylings of such fusion bands as Return to Forever and the Mahavishnu Orchestra (as well as prog rockers like Yes), and playing in his school jazz band. When he was 18, Hamm enrolled in Boston's famous Berklee College of Music, during which time he was surrounded by an impressive list of soon-to-be renowned musicians (Vai, Steve Smith, Randy Coven, Victor Bailey, Jeff Berlin, etc.). Hamm and Vai formed a strong bond, which would result in the bassist following Vai (who by this time was playing with Frank Zappa, and later, David Lee Roth) out to California during the early ‘80s, where he supplied bass on Vai's solo debut, Flex-Able.