As a fan of rock music, instrumental music esp. guitar playing, I have to say that there is no one quite like Joe. A musician who chooses to let his music do mmost of his talking and an all out regular nice guy, Satriani has influenced many budding guitar players all over the world and counts many established guitar greats among his students and admirers. The list speaks for itself - Steve Vai, Kirk Hammett (Metallica), Larry LaLonde (Primus), metal shredder Alex Skolnick (ex-Testament, Savatage), David Bryson (Counting Crows) & jazz guitarist Charlie Hunter. And while several other guitar instrumental hotshots either disappeared or had to join bands and hold clinics just to stay musically alive, Joe has moved from strength to strength, his popularity is stil growing.

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".
"Dreaming #11" is released in late 1988 and goes gold quickly and fetches a second grammy nomination (the first one was for "Always With Me......"). Joe starts work on another album in 1989 "Flying In a Blue Dream" an 18 track LP with him singing in 6 songs (the very COOL "The Phone Call" is aming them). The album is released and sells well over the platinum mark. "Flying In A Blue Dream" is the one considered by most Satch fans I know, to be his best effort to date. The title track, "Mystical Potatohead", "Ride", "Day At The Beach", "The Phone Call" & "The Bells of Love Part I & II" are all great tracks that still sound fresh today as it did over a decade ago. Satriani spent most of the time between this album and the next, touring, writing and recording. He also guested on Alice Cooper's smash hit album "Hey Stoopid" and appeared in a video with Alice.
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.
Having already cementing his position as a guitar god and being labelled as "the most influential guitarist since Jimi Hendrix", Satriani in typical fashion decided for a little change. With legendry producer Glyn Johns at the helm, and a stellar back up of Andy Fairwether-Low (Eric Clapton), Peter Gabriel's drummer Manu Katche, Joe went on to create his magnum opus - the album was called simply "Joe Satriani" and was more emotional, simple & more from the heart than any previous work. Opting for a more bluesy sound, Satch waxed lyrical on his guitar and experimented with Fender Squires, Strats and even a Gibson Flying V. Although the album starts with the now concert favorite "Cool #9", in a similiar vien to his earlier work, the album soon begins to sound more like a blues record with "Down, Down, Down", "Home", "Moroccan Sunset", "Slow Down Blues" and the grammy nominated "(You're) My World". The album, with no weak songs to speak of, also has one vocal track the upbeat "Look My Way" and gathered great commercial and critical acclaim. Around the time he was touring in support of this album, Joe began thinking about doing something he has always wanted since the 1990 tour, when fellow guitar hero, Eric Johnson joined him for a double headling bill that was performed at a few dates. Joe has been wanting to get Eric and Steve Vai for a more full fledged affair, the three guitarists performing on a single tour. That's how the G3 idea was born and in mid to late 1996 these three gurus' of 6 strings took the idea on the road. 90,000 fans flocked to see G3 on the 24 nights and tour was complimented by a live album "G3 Live" and video. Even more successful was the 1997 G3 tour, with Kenny Wayne Shepperd replacing Eric Johnson, and guests in the form of Robert Fripp, Brian May & Gary Hoey.
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.
From first singles "Ceremony" & "Train Of Angels" to other stand-outs like "Z.Z.'s Song", "Crystal Planet", "Trundrumbalind" & "Secret Prayer" the album showcases the album as more than just a great guitar instrumental album by one of the best guitarists; it's a sonic burst of light in a dull music scene. Again several people, not at all into guitar instrumentals or even rock music found the songs "great". The touring begin as always, with this time G3 tours interluding Joe's solo one. He takes G3 to Europe, with Michael Schenker & Uli Jon Roth while Vai and Shepperd go to other places. Australia and Japan are also included, plus South America.

Which brings us to the 2000 release "Engines Of Creation". He recorded it at his home studio, which has photos of B.B.King, Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page (Satch's heroes), Larry LaLonde & Steve Vai (his students) and live pics of his performances with Mick Jagger and Deep Purple. This time there was no band backing him, Joe's guitars gets a whole new life all of it's own! What the hell is going on in "Borg Sex"??!! It sounds so cool and weird and so sci-fi, so new and at the same time - so very Satriani. This time, Satch had two whole songs available as mp3s which you could download from his official website and boy after listening to those two songs, I was hell bent on getting the album as soon as it reached a record store in my city. The bass and drums are handled by programming (which did dissapoint me a lot, but hey it's a fantastic album!! I shouldn't complain). The killer tracks on "Engines Of Creation" are "Borg Sex", "Until We Say Goodbye" (the two mp3 songs) plus "Champagne?", "Devil's Slide", "Clouds Race Across The Sky", "Slow And Easy"...hell all the songs are great. That's the problem with Satriani, it's hard not to find a catchy song or cool solo in his albums. After 8 platinum albums, Satch fans can't wait for #9.


Joe Satriani's bio and pics has been compiled from magazine articles,'s biography, interviews from different internet sites and from