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Joe Satriani

The 1980s were a golden age for guitar heroes but even six-string slingers need a hero of their own. Enter Joe Satriani. More than a hero, Satriani was a mentor, setting an example of what could be done with the instrument and also serving as a teacher to such luminaries as Kirk Hammett, Charlie Hunter, Primus' Larry LaLonde, and Steve Vai. This alone makes Satriani a significant figure in the history of rock guitar, but when he launched a career as a recording artist in 1986, he performed the rare feat of crossing over to a wide audience via instrumental guitar music. His 1987 album Surfing with the Alien turned him into a star, kicking off a series of hit records, successful tours, and plum supporting gigs -- including backing Mick Jagger in the '80s, joining Deep Purple in the '90s, and playing with Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony in the supergroup Chickenfoot -- that stretched well into the 21st century.

A native of Long Island -- he was born in Westbury on July 15, 1956 and raised in Carle Place -- Satriani started playing guitar at 14. His initial inspiration was Jimi Hendrix, and after a few years he began taking lessons from jazz musicians Lennie Tristano and Billy Bauer. Satriani enrolled in Five Towns College and also began teaching guitar, taking his first notable student in Steve Vai, a musician who would soon be credited with "stunt guitar" on Frank Zappa records. Satriani headed out to Berkeley, California in 1978, supporting himself through teaching and beginning to gig with local bands. Over the next few years, he racked up what would prove to be an impressive roster of pupils, instructing Kirk Hammett (who would join Metallica), jazz fusion guitarist Charlie Hunter, Larry LaLonde (later of Primus), Kevin Cadogan (who joined Third Eye Blind), and David Bryson (a Counting Crow). Slowly, Satch gained bona fides as a musician himself, landing his first notable steady gig in the Squares, self-releasing an EP in 1984 and then joining the Greg Kihn Band in 1986, just as the hits started to dry up for the power popper.

The Kihn gig came at an opportune time for Satriani. He financed his full-length debut LP, Not of This Earth, through credit cards and the regular performances helped him whittle down his debt. As Not of This Earth saw release on Relativity in 1985, Satriani's student Steve Vai was hired by David Lee Roth, a job that pushed him into the national spotlight and, once he was there, he often tipped his hat to Satriani. All this helped set the stage for the 1987 release of Surfing with the Alien, the album that turned Satch into a star. Appearing in the fall of 1987 on Relativity, the album earned rave reviews among guitar publications and it began a steady march into the rock mainstream. Over the next year, "Satch Boogie" and "Surfing with the Alien" charted on Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart and the record climbed its way to 29 on the Billboard 200; upon its release it earned a gold certification from the RIAA, and it would be certified platinum, an unusual occurrence for an instrumental album.

Satriani's sudden overnight success brought him considerable attention, including an offer from Mick Jagger to play guitar on the Rolling Stones singer's solo tour of Japan in 1988. The guitarist accepted and, after releasing the largely live EP Dreaming #11, set to work on his next album, Flying in a Blue Dream. Released in 1989, the album contained a couple of cuts where Satriani sang lead, a mainstream concession that may have helped the record climb further in the charts: it peaked at 23, supported by the singles "One Big Rush" and "Big Bad Moon," both reaching 17 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart. Ibanez signature guitars followed, helping keep Satriani in the spotlight as he worked on his next album, 1992's The Extremist. Driven by the lyrical "Summer Song," his biggest hit ever -- it reached five on the Mainstream Rock charts -- The Extremist peaked at 22, Satriani's highest-ever position on Billboard; it later was certified gold by the RIAA. A year later, the largely archival Time Machine -- a double-disc set that reissued the 1984 EP, some live tracks, and new cuts -- came along; then Satriani headed out with Deep Purple in 1993, taking over the lead guitar slot from the absent Ritchie Blackmore.

Satriani released a Glyn Johns-produced eponymous album in 1995, but the next big event in his career arrived in 1996 when he teamed with Steve Vai and Eric Johnson for G3, a tour designed to showcase the three guitar virtuosos. This initial tour, captured on the 1997 live CD/DVD set G3: Live in Concert, was a success and Satriani turned it into something of an institution, touring with a rotating group of guitarists over the next decade. Crystal Planet, his seventh studio album, appeared in 1998 -- it peaked at 50 on the Billboard 200 and was certified gold in the United Kingdom -- and then in 2000 Satch stretched himself with Engines of Creation, an album that bore hints of electronica. The double-disc Live in San Francisco arrived in 2001; then came 2002's Strange Beautiful Music. A compilation called Electric Joe Satriani: An Anthology appeared in 2003, and then he entered a period of extreme productivity, releasing Is There Love in Space? in 2004, followed by another G3 live album, while 2006 brought the studio collection Super Colossal and another live set, aptly titled Satriani Live!; then he delivered Professor Satchafunkilus and the Musterion of Rock in 2008. At the end of the year, he filed a suit against Coldplay, claiming their hit "Viva la Vida" contained "substantial original portions" of his 2004 composition "If I Could Fly"; the suit was settled out of court. Next up, Satriani joined ex-Van Halen rockers Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony plus Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith for the supergroup Chickenfoot. The band released a self-titled debut in 2009 and toured but Satriani kept his solo afloat, releasing Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards in 2010. A year later Chickenfoot released their second album, Chickenfoot III; then the guitarist released another live album, Satchurated, in 2012, which was followed by Unstoppable Momentum in 2013. A Complete Studio Recordings box set came in 2014, and in 2015 he delivered Shockwave Supernova. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Unstoppable Momentum

1. Unstoppable Momentum

2. Can't Go Back

3. Lies And Truths

4. Three Sheets To The Wind

5. I'll Put A Stone On Your Cairn

6. A Door Into Summer

7. Shine On American Dreamer

8. Jumpin' In

9. Jumpin' Out

10. The Weight Of The World

11. A Celebration

x

Track List: Satchurated: Live In Montreal

Disc 1

1. Ice 9 (Live)

2. Hordes Of Locusts (Live)

3. Flying In A Blue Dream (Live)

4. Light Years Away (Live)

5. Memories (Live)

6. War (Live)

7. Premonition (Live)

8. Satch Boogie (Live)

9. Revelation (Live)

10. Pyrrhic Victoria (Live)

11. Crystal Planet (Live)

12. The Mystical Potato Head Groove Thing (Live)

13. Dream Song (Live)

Disc 2

1. God Is Crying (Live)

2. Andalusia (Live)

3. Solitude (Live)

4. Littleworth Lane (Live)

5. Why (Live)

6. Wind In The Trees (Live)

7. Always With Me, Always With You (Live)

8. Big Bad Moon (Live)

9. Crowd Chant (Live)

10. Summer Song (Live)

11. Two Sides To Every Story (Live)

12. The Golden Room (Live)

x

Track List: Black Swans And Wormhole Wizards

1. Premonition

2. Dream Song

3. Pyrrhic Victoria

4. Light Years Away

5. Solitude

6. Littleworth Lane

7. The Golden Room

8. Two Sides To Every Story

9. Wormhole Wizards

10. Wind In The Trees

11. God Is Crying

x

Track List: Live In Paris: I Just Wanna Rock

Disc 1

1. I Just Wanna Rock (Live In Paris)

2. Overdriver (Live In Paris)

3. Satch Boogie (Live In Paris)

4. Ice 9 (Live In Paris)

5. Diddle-Y-A-Doo-Dat (Live In Paris)

6. Flying In A Blue Dream (Live In Paris)

7. Ghosts (Live In Paris)

8. Revelation (Live In Paris)

9. Super Colossal (Live In Paris)

10. One Big Rush (Live In Paris)

11. Musterion (Live In Paris)

12. Out Of The Sunrise (Live In Paris)

Disc 2

1. Time Machine (Live In Paris)

2. Cool #9 (Live In Paris)

3. Andalusia (Live In Paris)

4. Bass Solo (Live In Paris)

5. Cryin' (Live In Paris)

6. Mystical Potato Head Groove Thing (Live In Paris)

7. Always With Me, Always With You (Live In Paris)

8. Surfing With The Alien (Live In Paris)

9. Crowd Chant (Live In Paris)

10. Summer Song (Live In Paris)

x

Track List: Professor Satchafunkilus & Musterion Of Rock

1. Musterion

2. Overdriver

3. I Just Wanna Rock

4. Professor Satchafunkilus

5. Revelation

6. Come On Baby

7. Out Of The Sunrise

8. Diddle-Y-A-Doo-Dat

9. Asik Veysel

10. Andalusia

x

Track List: Satriani Live

Disc 1

1. Redshift Riders (Live)

2. The Extremist (Live)

3. Flying In A Blue Dream (Live)

4. Cool #9 (Live)

6. Satch Boogie (Live)

7. Super Colossal (Live)

8. Just Like Lightnin' (Live)

9. Ice 9 (Live)

10. One Robot's Dream (Live)

Disc 2

1. Ten Words (Live)

2. The Mystical Potato Head Groove Thing (Live)

3. The Meaning Of Love (Live)

5. Circles (Live)

6. Always With Me, Always With You (Live)

7. Surfing With The Alien (Live)

8. Crowd Chant (Live)

9. Summer Song (Live)

x

Track List: Super Colossal

1. Super Colossal

2. Just Like Lightnin'

3. It's So Good

4. Redshift Riders

5. Ten Words

6. A Cool New Way

7. One Robot's Dream

8. The Meaning Of Love

9. Made Of Tears

10. Theme For A Strange World

11. Movin' On

12. A Love Eternal

13. Crowd Chant

x

Track List: Engines Of Creation

1. Devil's Slide

2. Flavor Crystal 7

3. Borg Sex

4. Until We Say Goodbye

5. Attack

6. Champagne

7. Clouds Race Across The Sky

8. The Power Cosmic 2000-Part I

9. The Power Cosmic 2000-Part II

10. Slow And Easy

11. Engines Of Creation

x

Track List: Crystal Planet

1. Up In The Sky

2. House Full Of Bullets

3. Crystal Planet

4. Love Thing

5. Trundrumbalind

6. Lights Of Heaven

7. Raspberry Jam Delta-V

8. Ceremony

9. With Jupiter In Mind

10. Secret Prayer

11. A Train Of Angels

12. A Piece Of Liquid

13. Psycho Monkey

14. Time

15. Z.Z.'s Song

x

Track List: Flying In A Blue Dream

1. Flying In A Blue Dream

2. The Mystical Potato Head Groove Thing

3. Can't Slow Down

4. Headless

5. Strange

6. I Believe

7. One Big Rush

8. Big Bad Moon

9. The Feeling

10. The Phone Call

11. Day At The Beach (New Rays From An Ancient Sun)

12. Back To Shalla-Bal

13. Ride

14. The Forgotten (Part One)

15. The Forgotten (Part Two)

16. The Bells Of Lal (Part One)

17. The Bells Of Lal (Part Two)

18. Into The Light

x

Track List: Surfing With The Alien

1. Surfing With The Alien

2. Ice 9

3. Crushing Day

4. Always With Me, Always With You

5. Satch Boogie

6. Hill Of The Skull

7. Circles

8. Lords Of Karma

9. Midnight

10. Echo

x

Track List: Not Of This Earth

1. Not Of This Earth

2. The snake

3. Rubina

4. Memories

5. Brother John

6. The enigmatic

7. Driving At Night

8. hordes of locusts

9. new day

10. the headless horseman

x

Track List: A Door Into Summer (Single)

1. A Door Into Summer

x

Track List: Is There Love In Space?

1. Gnaahh

2. Up In Flames

3. Hands In The Air

4. Lifestyle

5. Is There Love In Space?

6. If I Could Fly

7. The Souls Of Distortion

8. Just Look Up

9. I Like The Rain

10. Searching

11. Bamboo

x

Track List: Shockwave Supernova (Single)

1. Shockwave Supernova

Comments

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Best guitarist ever
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one punch man > joe
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My JS fav: A Door Into Summer
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mbrocato64
saw him with chickenfoot. awesome as usual
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Ok, last one. CANT WAIT TIL HE COMES BACK!!
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The riff war with his bassist and keyboardist was so fun!!
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Saw Joe Friday night. Absolute perfection. The night went too fast. Could have listened for days.
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Satchmo, what a talent. Have always wanted to see him live. He never stops, looking for perfection.. . makes you want to pick up a guitar & play
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Goddamn beast...
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Best buckle in and hold on tight!
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Buckethead punks him lmao
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stevie734
Consider this. Joe has written every song in his 15 albums himself. He has composed some of the most original and melodic music of any American musician of any genre. His music is so enjoyable and thought provoking. What a great mind he must have! No matter who he is on stage with, his compositions sound fantastic !
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This dude has more chops than any guitarist that I can think of. He has the best amazing changes and phrasing. I love his style
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Met Joe at a meet and greet at the Fox in Oakland this year rocked for 2 1/2 hours I don't even think he broke a sweat awesome show
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Lucky dog! Jealousssss! ����
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Going to see him Fridayv in Chicago! ! Woo hoo!
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rtfloyd
saw him in concert and it was like seeing Beethoven--t h e guy is the quintessenti a l composer
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My JS fav: A Door Into Summer
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Whoa Joe! You Blow our minds,! You blow us into oblivion!
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kickflip979
I'm actually seeing Joe tomorow in concert. Can't wait!
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SEEN THIS JOe S...WITH hair
and WITHOUT!! LOL!
He's been chewing up & spitting OUT Tons of Guitars since then!!!
Yep, True Story!!
He'a a really cool dude! SURFING WITH THE ALIEN .......yeah, BABY!!!!

0;o))))
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Hands down....the best LIVE show I've ever seen!
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Well said. He's defined what it means to be a soloist.. I can listen to him all day, and I feel connected to his playing
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famin88
One calls Joe " The Maestro " another calls him " The Guru " I on the other hand call him simply " The Alien " There is no one like Joe not Vai,Malmstee n , B e c k , H a l e n , and many others. Although all I mentioned I listen to and love but Joe is a soul moving guitarist. His sound and style are just simply incredible. Who needs words when his sound speaks so clearly to the soul. I say if people don't like or love the guy on some level then start seaching for your soul cause you lost it somewhere along
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Can someone explain why Strange Beautiful Music isn't in the discography? I was wondering why my favorite songs never show up on Pandora lol... now I know (x_x!?)
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rpweber71
Is there anything Joe Satriani cannot do with a guitar? He is the master.
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One of my JS favs: A Door Into Summer
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I'm in love with this music!
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Enter Joe Satriani.
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stop by:

david... radio
50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 2000s~
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Great musician!!
Love a bit of Joe!!!
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ulisex69
He is one of THE MASTERS! Teacher...a true DAI-SENSEI.
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Legendary Ax/Man one the Best. Must see in concert.
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jake_joker88
Angel Vivaldi
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The man can shred
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Lol
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I took lessons from Joe back in the 80s. I stopped going, and he called my mom saying she stiffed him out of the $5 for the last lesson. He had his dates all screwed up, to this day I still say he was paid in full. I know the jackass is definitely still hung up about it because he won't respond to my tweets or letters. Whatever...
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He's pretty sick
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ddrobnjak
sure do
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Ya gotta love this guy!!!
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JS!
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Got my ticket to see Joe & Company April 9 in Buffalo!!!
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f0nkstick
Driving a barebones pickup truck with no ac, windows open, rocketing down the highway... Paradise.
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To be honest, Satch is best enjoyed on a Saturday, after you've left all bullshit that bothers you behind, you've got the sun roof open, about 100 miles of asphalt, your significant other, some tastiness, and a GTO in your hand, and you just......GO !
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Glad you took up guitar
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I was honored to be Steve Vai Bus Driver on one of the G3 tours Rock on Joe
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tpetrou930
Corvette Memories With Satriani
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lgaudet65
Kicks a**
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tjahan
The Yoda of guitar heroes! just simply RIDICULOUS! Rock on Sir, you make me happy!
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He is all over the fretboard in like all of his songs! He's like my idol!
Show more

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