Satriani, around 1987 or so.
|Joe Satriani was born in Westbury, New York and started playing guitar at age 14. Rumour has it he was influenced by listening to Jimi Hendrix's "Vodoo Chile" over and over again. By 1971 he begins teaching to several other youngsters with a passion for guitar. Steve Vai, who is only 4 years younger than Joe, is one such student. Having taught himself the guitar till 1974, Joe then embarks on learning sessions with guitarist Billy Bauer and pianist Lenny Tristano, both jazz masters living in Queens, NY. In 1978, Joe moves to Berkeley, California and begins a teaching career to students mainly from the San Francisco metropolitan ares, that included Alex Skolink, Larry LaLonde, Kirk Hammett & Charlie Hunter; all considered guitar greats. The following year Satriani forms the pop-rock outfit The Squares alongwith drummer Jeff Campitelli and bass player Andy Milton. The band don't really gain much ground but continue to play clubs for a few years. 1984 sees "The Joe Satriani EP", containing five songs, released on Joe's own independant label named after Rubina, his wife. He starts work on the songs for his first full album "Not Of This Earth" in 1985 and finances it on a credit card. Meantime he joins pop-rocker Greg Kihn, records an album and tours with him. His ex-student, Vai, by now a star with Frank Zappa and David Lee Roth meets up with him and introduces him to his label Relativity Records.|
|In November of 1986 "Not Of This Earth" is released by Realativity. From this day onwards guitar players all over the world, took to locking themselves in their room along with a guitar and an amp and tried to play licks like Joe. After the album release, Satriani plays solo club gigs while also supporting Greg Kihn. The next year sees the release of the monster record "Surfing With The Alien". Containing killer tracks "Hill Of The Skull", "Satch Boogie", "Ice 9", "Crushing Day" and the title track, the album went on to become one of the most successful rock instrumentals ever and comparisons with another great guitarists Jeff Beck began. But the jewel in the album was the romantic instrumental "Always With You, Always With Me" which features a video of Satch and his band performing in a deserted location. Since then Joe has mainained his multi-platinum status and sold out venues status. On the strength of "Surfing..."'s showing, Relativity Records put out further copies of "Not Of This Earth" (which has sold out) with a new cover design. Satch goes on tour and plays a wider audience than before, with the guitar hero wannabe's in the front three rows of every concert, racking their brains in order to find out how Joe is able to create those sounds. An exclusive and lucrative endorsing deal is struck with Ibanez Guitars and several Joe Satriani Series guitars have been manufactured by the Japanese-Korean guitar company. Satriani interrupts his own tour twice in order to join Mick Jagger's band, performing behind the "Let's Work" LP. Three live tracks recorded during Satriani's "Surfing.." tour plus a studio track "The Crush Of Love" make it onto an EP called "Dreaming #11".|
|So in 1992, "The Extremist" was released during the peak of the grunge explosion. But it debuts at #24 on the Billboard charts and produces the hit single and video "Summer Song" a live favorite. The song is also featured on a Sony Walkman commercial. Other great tracks from "The Extremist" are "Crying", the explosive "War", "the funky wah-wah pedal fest "Why" (MY FAVORITE SATCH TRACK OF ALL TIME), bluesy "New Blues" and the relaxing and soothing "Rubina's Blue Sky Happiness". Incidently it was with this album, and in particular the last song I have listed , that I managed to turn many of my non-rock fan friends and cousins onto Joe Satriani's music. The album fetches Joe another Grammy nomination. Heavy touring followed, with dates in Europe, South America, Australia & North America. Since this tour is Satch's biggest yet, the idea of a live CD is not far behind. However Joe decides to go about it a bit differently and the double CD "Time Machine" is released. Disk one has rare tracks and the five from "Joe Satriani" EP plus 3 new songs. Disk 2 contains 14 live tracks recorded on tour. Despite being released at a time when Alteranative was in and most shred guitar exponenst were in hiding, Joe was not fazed by the doubters and sceptics. Instead he sat back and counted the millions pouring in as "Time Machine" went gold and over. When Richie Blackmore left Deep Purple in the middle of a tour, the legendry band called on Joe to completed the remaining dates in Mexico and Japan. Although he only agreed to join until they found a permanent replacement, Joe admitted to having a blast with DP.|
|Before the end of 1997, Satch also found time to record two songs for jazz guitar legend Pat Martino's album "All-Sides Now", that also boasts other great musicians. For the next album Joe looked around at the latest trends and decided to embrace technology without giving up on integrity. The resulting album was "Crystal Planet" and any doubt that would have crossed the minds of his fans (including mine) were erased with the very first listen. Yes, the electronic beats are there to hear, but pushed to the background. The guitars and bass and drums still sound as great as ever and man do they rock. Joe chose to change the sound of his guitar from song to song.|
VISIT JOE'S OFFICIAL WEBSITE:SATRIANI.COM