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[JOE WHO?] [BIOGRAPHY] [ACCOMPLISHMENTS] [INFLUENCE] [FACTOIDS] [JOE VIDEO]
WHO IS JOE SATRIANI?
Joe Satriani is arguably one of the greatest guitar players who ever lived... Born and raised in New York, his impact on guitar playing and the music scene has been undeniable. We have dedicated this page to Joe so fans will be able to get info, pictures, etc., and also in hopes that we might introduce Joe's wonder to those who have never heard of him. Without much aid from radio or television or media in general, Joe has created legions of faithful fans worldwide - whom Joe is very good to, as is proven at his website, www.satriani.com. He has accomplished more than any of today's more well known bands that will probably be gone by next year, and his longevity proves him to be the real deal.
Joe should be an inspiration to us all with his personal discipline, good morals, and how he writes and plays what he feels. Not some drug-addict who dropped out of high school, Joe actually taught music and knows an immense amount of theory. He also keeps up with the times by continually releasing groundbreaking new albums. Joe is a positive role model and an amazing musician.
Hopefully after reading this page the nonbeliever might gain a little more respect for the Satch... And maybe pick up an album or two in the future.
Satriani was born in the town of Westbury, New York on July 15, 1956. At the age of 14 (1970) he started playing guitar. He soon after began teaching guitar to others in 1971, charging $5 per lesson. He studied with jazz greats Billy Bauer and Lennie Tristano in 1974, and in 1978 he moved to Berkeley, California. Here he taught guitar to countless students for 10 years. Among these students were little known guitarists who would later become famous for their playing skills (see "influence" section for more details). Joe created a band interestingly named "The Squares" in SF with future long-term partner Jeff Campitelli on drums and Andy Milton on bass. Joe released a self titled EP consisting of five songs through his own record label, Rubina (named for his wife), in 1984. The next year on Relativity Records Joe finished his very first full-length album which would be released in 1986. This album was financed by Joe's credit card, and he was introduced to Relativity by his buddy Steve Vai. While waiting for a deal, he toured with pop-rocker Greg Kihn. This was just the beginning...
Surfing with the Alien would bring fame to Satriani in October of 1987 when he released his breakthrough album on Relativity Records. Surfing sold over a million copies (platinum) and earned Joe global status as a guitar great. This album displayed Joe's excellence in writing and performing tuneful, fast, impressive, and all around great songs. It wasn't long before Joe appeared in top of the line guitar magazines such as Guitar Player, Guitar World, Musician, etc. Surfing went on to become the best selling rock instrumental album since Jeff Beck's album Wired. Joe's releases continued to receive high expectations and commercial success due to his amazing ability to play what he feels, what people love, and what seems to be some of the best guitar work ever.
In November, 1988, Dreaming #11 was released and snagged Joe his second Grammy nomination. Flying in a Blue dream soon became successful in Oct. 1989 and earned Joe yet another Grammy nom. The Extremist Stormed onto the scene in July of 1992 and contained one of Joe's greatest commercial successes, Summer Song, which earned Joe a fourth Grammy nomination and was used by Sony in a television commercial. In Oct. of 1993 the Time Machine double disc was released with live and new tracks. As usual, this CD was successful and was followed by Joe Satriani in 1995 (add another Grammy nom to the list). Joe soon contributed to Merry Axemas: a guitar Christmas with Silent night/Holy night Jam, and in 1998 Crystal Planet was released. A Train of Angels, the second single, earned Joe another Grammy nomination after the live version of Summer Song (from G3) earned him one the year before.
Not only did Joe attract the attention of young players and press everywhere, his peers were also affected by his fretboard craftsmanship. He played with Mick Jagger on his solo tour in 1988 and with Deep Purple in their 1994 tour. 1996 brought on Joe's ambitious and incredibly popular G3 tour, which teamed him up with guitar greats Steve Vai and Eric Johnson. Before the second G3 tour with Kenny Wayne Shepherd filling in Eric Johnson's empty chair, Joe teamed up with Pat Martino, a jazz guitar great, to record two tracks from Martino's critically acclaimed album All Sides Now. Joe kicked off the successful Crystal Planet tour in March, 1998, which concluded in a kick ass performance at the Tower Theatre in Philadelphia, PA. He followed Crystal Planet up with the groundbreaking Engines of Creation, in which he mixed his guitar skills with electronic soundscapes. Live in San Francisco was a live double album recorded at the Fillmore during Joe's EOC tour. He received two more grammy nominations for songs from these albums. Joe's next masterpiece, Strange Beautiful Music, is set to hit stores June 25th, 2002.
"Storming onto the music scene nearly a decade ago, Joe Satriani has been widely recognized as the archetypal post-modern hero. Since his emergence in 1986 with a self-released, self-titled debut album, Joe has become the most recognizable guitar voice of his time, earning his place alongside the great masters of rock guitar. As an instrumental artist in a pop-dominated field, Satriani's accomplishments are even more remarkable: He is perhaps the most successful rock instrumentalist in recent history, selling millions of records and consistently packing concert halls - yet always preserving a strong musical vision, as well as the respect of fellow musicians and forward-thinking music fans worldwide." -- Excerpt taken from Joe's official page.
~ 1987 - Surfing with the Alien goes gold and platinum & Joe gains global status; becomes one of the most successful rock instrumental albums of all time.
~ 1988 - Tours with the Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger
~ 1988 - Dreaming #11 goes gold, Joe gets second Grammy nom
~ 1989 - FIABD receives third Grammy nom, sells 750,000
~ 1992 - Extremist debuts at #24 on Billboard, goes gold, Summer Song receives Grammy nom
~ 1994 - Time Machine goes gold
~ 1995 - "(You're) My World" gets Grammy nom (from album Joe Satriani)
~ 1996 - G3 tour 90,000 fans with amazing guitar playing
~ 1998 - Summer Song from the G3 album is nominated for a Grammy
~ 1998 - Successful Crystal Planet Tour hits the US with multiple sold out shows
~ 1999 - "A Train of Angels" nominated for a Grammy
~ 2001 - "Until We Say Goodbye" nominated for a Grammy
~ 2002 - "Always With Me, Always With You" from Live in San Francisco nominated for a Grammy
"Satriani's gift is creating highly evolved instrumental music, using the structure of popular standard songs that allows listeners to latch onto tuneful melodies before being dazzled by his acclaimed musicianship. His hallmarks are a warm, bluesy tone and delicate phrasing, combined with the bursts of superhuman technical facility which upped the ante well beyond the standards set by generations of great rock musicians before him." -- Excerpt taken from Joe's official page.
Joe has had an immeasurable influence on guitarists around the world. Immense numbers of musicians and guitar players both young and old have been touched by his astounding song writing and lightning fast melodic technique. However, not just the average working joe has been lured to the sweet sound of Joe's guitar playing. Big names have not only been influenced, but have actually been taught by Joe himself. Here are some examples:
~ When Joe was still at a young age, he taught lessons to fellow G3 guitarist Steve Vai for $5. He also taught one other person (identity unknown) so that he and Steve could cut their bill to Joe down to $2.50 each. Vai later helped Joe out with his deal with Relativity Records.
~ Kirk Hammet, now known as the main guitar shredder in one of the most influential heavy metal bands in history, Metallica, was taught by Joe during his 10 year teaching run in California.
~ Currently recognized for his original guitar work in Primus, Larry LaLonde was among Joe's other students at Berkeley.
~ David Bryson, though not seen as a guitar great, was also taught by Joe in CA. Bryson has been most recently known for his guitar playing in the pop band Counting Crows.
~ Innovative jazz guitarist Charlie Hunter was yet another name on Joe's Berkeley teaching roster.
~ Alex Skolnick was also fortunate enough to be taught by Joe at Berekely. Alex is highley active in the world of heavy metal and has been involved with such bands as Megadeth, Slayer, Judas Priest, and White Zombie
~ Though Stu Hamm is a bassist (and an amazing one at that), recording and touring with Joe had to be an influential experience.
These are just a few of the famous guitarists that have been lucky enough to be taught by Joe. Nobody can even begin to count the young minds Joe has inspired across the planet, and that will probably never change.
JOE FACTIODS AND TIDBITS
This ever-expanding section contains many interesting and little-known facts about Joe. If you see a * beside a factoid, that means that the info has been gathered from a secondary source other than Joe(in other words, it may not be entirely accurate). Enjoy!
~ The tune for Lords of Karma took Joe a grand total of 15 years to complete! He made the chord progression in high school and loved it, so he never let it go. Finally 15 years later, he completed it.
~ *The voices in the feedback before Flying in a Blue Dream were that of a radio station Joe's amp picked up during the recording sessions. Joe liked it and decided to keep it.
~ The bass drum sound in Dreaming #11 were made by Joe tapping an allen wrench against one of the pole pieces of his pickup. The bass was actually Joe's guitar tuned down.
~ Joe recorded "Flying in a Blue Dream" with the volume setting on the amp at only 2-3.
~ Just before recording sessions for "The Extremist", Joe's amps were stolen. He had to purchase new ones and borrowed a few for the recordings.
~ *Joe's main sunglasses are supposedly Oakley's.
~ The percussion part to "Look My Way" is drummer Greg Bissonette playing on bass drum cases and any other objects he could find.
~ Joe has appeared on "The Late Show with David Letterman" twice.
~ Mak and Evan have met Joe twice.
~ Joe's album "Not Of This Earth" was financed on Joe's credit card.
~ Z. Z. Satriani, Joe's son, came up with the name for "A Train of Angels."
~ The song "If" was put together on the spot right before Joe recorded it.
~ *If you listen closely to the end of "With Jupiter in Mind" you can hear what sounds like voices, possibly Joe's amp picking up radio signals like in Flying in a Blue Dream.
~ The moment Joe heard that Jimi Hendrix had died, he quit the football team and decided to devote his time to learning guitar.
~ Joe does not consider himself a "guitar god" or a "guitar hero" but greatly appreciates his recognition.
~ The name G3 stands for "Ghiddrah 3" which translates into "three guitarists."
~ Shalla-Bal (referring to "Back to Shalla-Bal" on Flying in a Blue Dream) was one of Marvel Comics superhero Silver Surfer's girlfriends. Silver Surfer appeared on the cover of Surfing with the Alien.
~ S.M.F. (from the Joe Satriani album) stands for "Sick Mother F*cker"
~ *Joe was supposedly listening to Eric Clapton's album "From the Cradle" for inspiration while recording his Self-Titled album, and Steve Vai's album "Fire Garden" while recording Engines of Creation.
~ Joe went to Carle Place High School, the same school as Steve Vai.
~ Joe's guitar "Black Dog" is actually the guitar on the back of "Flying in a Blue Dream." The guitar was stolen, but later returned sans the random pen drawings.
~ Joe shaved his head because he was going bald. Hey, he is over 40 after all!
~ Joe's first instrument was the drums.
~ Joe graduated from high school half a year early!
~ *Joe does not play "Crushing Day" live anymore because he finds it too difficult.
~ The song "Crazy" (Time Machine disc 1) was originally going to be the last track on The Extremist - Joe thought it didn't fit with the non-vocal album and it was a bonus track on the Japanese CD.
~ Satch drives a Range Rover.
~ Joe has a pet snake.
~ *The title "Devil's Slide" (track 1 on EOC) may have come from a stretch of road north of San Francisco. California Scenic Route 1 runs along the ocean and hangs on the edge of several cliffs. A stretch of especially dangerous cliffs along the road is known as Devil's Slide.
Here is a great video I mooched off of Joe's official website. Check it out!
Here is a great video I mooched off of Joe's official website. Check it out!