Steve Vai has always paid attention to the sounds in his head.

Though the guitar virtuoso from Carle Place found international stardom 30 years ago when he joined David Lee Roth’s band to help create the once-and-future Van Halen frontman’s solo debut, Vai quickly decided that he needed to build his career around his own desires.

“A compelling idea that sounds exciting in my head always trumps any superficial desires — and I’ve had plenty of superficial desires,” Vai says, laughing. “They just get dwarfed when I hear something in my head like ‘The Riddle’ or ‘Pink and Blows Over.’ I wouldn’t trade one single song for anything that’s not entirely, authentically my own inner creative expressions. You’re cheating yourself if you do.”

Those creative expressions have always served Vai well. Currently touring to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his landmark solo album “Passion and Warfare,” recently reissued by Legacy Recordings with a previously unreleased album, “Modern Primitive,” Vai will be inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame on Nov. 3 at The Space at Westbury, just blocks from where he grew up. (His tour will return to play The Space on Nov. 12.)

“I’ve been so fortunate to be the recipient of so many honorable awards, but this one hits home harder, more strongly than any other,” Vai says. “These things sneak up on you. For many years, when I was winning awards — from the guitar magazines, winning Grammys — I just didn’t take them seriously. It was kind of like I was waiting for the man behind the curtain to come out and say, ‘Just kidding.’ . . . When we got the call for this, I stopped and said, ‘Wow, this is really nice. It’s really quite an honor.’ You wonder if you’re really worthy of it.”

It’s a rare full-circle moment for the 56-year-old Vai, who still uses tape of Carle Place High School teacher Nancy Fagan’s voice saying things she used to tell him in class for his song “The Audience Is Listening” each night on the current tour.

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“I used to bring my guitar to school and I would get in trouble for it, but she encouraged me,” says Vai, explaining why he asked her to be on the song. “The things in the song happened, though I didn’t turn the class upside down and start dancing on the tables.”

Vai says he never talked about becoming a star the way he did in the song, either.

“When I was a kid, I was so embarrassed at the idea of telling anybody I was going to be a star because I never expected it and it sounds pretentious and fantasy-world-ish,” he says. “It was never my intention but it’s funny that it happened so I thought I’d add it to the song as a joke.”

Vai laughs when asked whether he could explain how he and another guitar virtuoso, Joe Satriani, both managed to come from the same high school at nearly the same time.

“That’s a mystery to me — I think it started with Joe,” says Vai, adding that Bill Wescott, the music theory teacher at Carle Place High School, inspired them both. “He was just naturally gifted, tremendously gifted, and he was my teacher, my mentor, and from the ages of 12 to 15, Joe was my everything. He was very generous with his lessons and musical wisdom. To this day, we’re kind of joined at the hip. It’s been an amazing life journey that we’ve had together. We look at each other and wonder the same thing, ‘How did this all happen?’ ”

Of course, Vai says he doesn’t dwell on that too much. On this current tour especially, he is trying to simply live in the moment.

“Every show, I feel like there’s this little voice in me saying, ‘OK, Vai, make the most of this and savor every single note and just remember how fortunate you are that you can do all this and that it’s so fulfilling to play the music.’ ”