That Time Steve Vai Faced Ralph Macchio in a Guitar Battle in "Crossroads"

September 19, 2019

Photos by Imagn


Long before Eminem took down rappers in 8 Mile, one of the baddest musical battles in cinematic history belongs to Steve Vai and Ralph Macchio in the epic conclusion to the 1986 film Crossroads.

In the final scene, Macchio's character Eugene Martone faces off against in a guitar battle against Jack Butler, (Vai) a Memphis rocker who regularly "cuts heads" for Scratch (the Devil) in an effort to save both his soul and the soul of blues legend WIllie Brown.

During some of the close-up shots, Ralph Macchio's character is replaced by blues guitar legend Ry Cooder.

Watch Vai and Macchio's dazzling battle below:

In the end, Martone and Butler appear equally matched in skill until the young prodigy is forced to bust out a classical arrangement by Paganini, thus securing his victory.