Joe Satriani

Joseph "Satch" Satriani (born July 15, 1956 in Westbury, New York) is an American multi-instrumentalist, known as an instrumental rock guitarist, who has been nominated for Grammy Awards. Early in his career, Satriani worked as a guitar instructor, and some of his former students have achieved fame with their guitar skills. Satriani has been a driving force behind other musicians throughout his career, as a founder of the ever-changing touring trio, G3, as well as performing in temporary positions with other musicians.


In 1988, Satriani was recruited by the The Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger as lead guitarist for the singer's second solo tour. Later, in 1994, Satriani was the lead guitarist for Deep Purple. Satriani worked with a range of guitarists from many musical genres, including Steve Vai, John Petrucci, Eric Johnson, Larry LaLonde, Yngwie Malmsteen, Brian May, Patrick Rondat, Andy Timmons, Paul Gilbert, Adrian Legg, and Robert Fripp through the annual G3 Jam Concerts.


He is heavily influenced by blues-rock guitar icons such as Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck, possessing, however, his own easily recognizable style. Since 1988, Satriani has been using his own signature guitar, the Ibanez JS Series, which is widely sold in stores. He has a signature series amplifier, the Peavey JSX, and a signature Vox distortion pedal, the Satchurator. He is currently the lead guitarist for the supergroup Chickenfoot.


Life and career


Satriani playing in Chile, 2003

Satriani was inspired to play guitar at 14 soon after learning of the death of Jimi Hendrix. He has been said to have heard the news during a football training session, where he confronted his coach and announced that he was quitting to become a guitarist.


1970s

In 1974, Satriani studied music with jazz guitarist Billy Bauer and with reclusive jazz pianist Lennie Tristano. The technically demanding Tristano greatly influenced Satriani's playing. Satriani began teaching guitar, with his most notable student at the time being fellow Long Island native Steve Vai. While he was Vai's teacher, he was attending Five Towns College for studies in music.


In 1978 Satriani moved to Berkeley, California to pursue a music career, and Vai moved on to study at the Berklee School of Music, soon after graduating becoming a high profile guitarist first with Frank Zappa, and after, other bands.


Not long after Satriani arrived in California, he resumed teaching. His students included Kirk Hammett of Metallica, David Bryson of Counting Crows, Kevin Cadogan from Third Eye Blind, Larry LaLonde of Primus / Possessed, Alex Skolnick of Testament, Rick Hunolt (ex-Exodus), Phil Kettner of L??z Rockit, Geoff Tyson of T-Ride, and Charlie Hunter.


1980s

When his friend and former student Steve Vai gained fame playing with David Lee Roth in 1986, Vai raved about Satriani in several interviews with guitar magazines. Guitar World Magazine In 1987, Satriani's second album Surfing with the Alien produced popular radio hits and was the first all-instrumental release to chart so highly in many years. In 1988 Satriani helped produce the EP The Eyes of Horror for the death metal band Possessed.


In 1989, Satriani released the album Flying in a Blue Dream. The album sold well. "One Big Rush" was featured on the soundtrack to the Cameron Crowe movie Say Anything. "The Forgotten Part II" was featured on a Labatt Blue commercial in Canada in 1993. "Big Bad Moon", one of Satriani's few songs to feature his vocals, was a minor hit in late 1989.


1990s

In 1992, Satriani released The Extremist, his most critically acclaimed and commercially successful album to date. Radio stations across the country were quick to pick up on "Summer Song", while "Cryin'", "Friends" and the title track were regional hits.


In late 1993, Satriani joined Deep Purple as a temporary replacement for departed guitarist Ritchie Blackmore during the band's Japanese tour. The concerts were a success, and Satriani was asked to join the band permanently but he declined, having just signed a multi-album solo deal with Sony, so Steve Morse took the guitarist slot in Deep Purple.


G3
Satriani with G3 in Milan, 2004

In 1996, he founded the G3, a concert tour intended to feature a power trio consisting of three instrumental rock guitarists. The original lineup featured Satriani, Vai, and Eric Johnson. The G3 (tour) has continued periodically since its inaugural version, where Satriani is the only permanent member, featuring differing second and third members. Other guitarists who have performed in such a G3 configuration include among others: Steve Vai, Eric Johnson, Yngwie Malmsteen, John Petrucci, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Robert Fripp, Andy Timmons, Uli Jon Roth, Michael Schenker, Adrian Legg and Paul Gilbert.


In 1998 Satriani recorded and released Crystal Planet, which went back to a sound more reminiscent of his late '80s work. Planet was followed up with Engines of Creation, one of his more experimental works featuring the 'Electronica' genre of music. During the subsequent tour, a pair of shows at the Fillmore in San Francisco were recorded in December 2000 and released as Live in San Francisco, a two-disc live album and DVD.


Satriani, Steve Vai, and John Petrucci, as G3 Melbourne, 2006 Photo Mandy Hall

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2000 and beyond

Over the next several years, Satriani regularly recorded and released evolving music, including Strange Beautiful Music in 2002 and Is There Love in Space? in 2004.


In 2006 Satriani recorded and released Super Colossal and Satriani Live!, another two-disc live album and DVD recorded May 3, 2006 at the Grove in Anaheim, CA.


On August 7, 2007 Epic/Legacy Recordings re-released Surfing with the Alien to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its release. This was a two-disc set that includes a remastered album and a DVD of a previously never-before-seen live show filmed at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1988.


Satriani's newest album, titled Professor Satchafunkilus and the Musterion of Rock, was released on April 1, 2008.


Controversy
This article's Criticism or Controversy section(s) may mean the article does not present a neutral point of view of the subject. It may be better to integrate the material in such sections into the article as a whole. (September 2009)

On December 4, 2008 Satriani filed a copyright infringement suit against Coldplay in the United States District Court for the Central District of California.


Satriani asserts that the Coldplay song "Viva la Vida" includes "substantial original portions" of the Satriani song "If I Could Fly" from his 2004 album, Is There Love in Space?. The Coldplay song in question received two Grammy Awards for "Song of the Year." Coldplay has denied the allegation, which has resulted in further legal action from Satriani. The case has since been settled out of court.


Other work
Joe Satriani with Stu Hamm in concert, Rijnhal, Arnhem (June 12, 2008)

Satriani is also credited on many other albums, including guitar duties on Alice Cooper's 1991 album Hey Stoopid, Spinal Tap's 1992 album Break Like the Wind, Blue ??yster Cult's 1988 album Imaginos, band members Stu Hamm and Gregg Bissonette's solo albums. Interestingly, he was credited with singing background vocals on the 1986 debut album by Crowded House. In 2003, he played lead guitar on The Yardbirds's CD release Birdland. In 2006 he made appearances on tracks for Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillan's solo CD/DVD dual disc Gillan's Inn. On Dream Theater's 2007 album, Systematic Chaos, Satriani contributed spoken lyrics to the song "Repentance". Satriani contributed a guitar solo to Jordan Rudess' 2004 solo release Rhythm of Time.


He is featured in the Christopher Guest film, For Your Consideration, as the guitarist in the band that played for the late-night show.


Chickenfoot


Main article: Chickenfoot (band)

It was revealed on May 29, 2008 that Satriani is involved in a new hard rock band called Chickenfoot with former Van Halen members Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony, and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith. The band features Hagar on vocals, Satriani on guitar, Anthony on bass and Smith on drums,. Their debut album was released on June 5, 2009. The first single and video released from this album is the track "Oh Yeah", which was also played on the Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien on June 5, 2009. Satriani received a writing credit on each of the songs featured on the band's self-titled debut album.


Technique and influence


Satriani is recognized as a technically advanced rock guitarist, and has been described as a virtuoso. by some publications. He has mastered many performance techniques on the instrument, including legato, two-handed tapping and arpeggio tapping, volume swells, harmonics, and extreme whammy bar effects. One of his trademark compositional traits is the use of pitch axis theory, which he applies with a variety of modes. During fast passages, Joe favors a legato technique (achieved primarily through hammer-ons and pull-offs) which yields smooth and flowing runs. He is also adept at other speed-related techniques such as speed picking (a rapid form of alternate picking) and sweep picking, but does not often use them.


Satriani has received 15 Grammy nominations and has sold more than 10 million albums worldwide. Many of his fans and friends call him "Satch," short for "Satriani".


An influential guitarist himself, Satriani has many influences, including jazz guitarists Django Reinhardt, Wes Montgomery, Allan Holdsworth and Charlie Christian, and rock guitarists Jimi Hendrix and Ritchie Blackmore.


Equipment


Satriani has endorsed Ibanez's JS Series guitars, and Peavey's JSX amplifier. Both lines were designed specifically as signature products for Satriani. The Ibanez JS100 was based on and replaced the Ibanez 540 Radius model which Satriani first endorsed. However, Satriani uses a variety of gear. Many of his guitars are made by Ibanez, including the JS1000, and JS1200. These guitars typically feature the DiMarzio PAF Pro (which he used up until 1993 in both the neck and bridge positions), the DiMarzio Fred (which he used in the bridge position from 1993 to 2005), and the Mo' Joe and the Paf Joe (which he uses in the bridge and neck positions, respectively, from 2005 to present day). The JS line of guitars is his signature line, and they feature the Edge Pro, which is Ibanez's exclusive vibrato system, although he's always used the Original Edge unit on his guitars. The guitar with which he was most often associated during the nineties was a chrome-finished guitar nicknamed "Chrome Boy" (this instrument can be seen on the Live in San Francisco DVD). However, the guitar used for most of the concert was in fact a lookalike nicknamed "Pearly", which featured Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates pickups.


Satriani uses a number of other JS models such as the JS double neck model, JS700 (primary axe on the self-titled CD and seen on the 1995 tour "Joe Satriani", which features a fixed bridge, P-90 pickups, and a matching mahogany body and neck), JS600 (natural body) , JS1 (the original JS model), JS2000 (fixed bridge model), a variety of JS100s, JS1000s and JS1200s with custom paint work, and a large amount of prototype JSs. All double locking bridges have been the original Edge tremolo, not the newer models, which point to a more custom guitar than the "off the shelf" models. Joe played a red 7-string JS model, seen in the "G3 Live in Tokyo" DVD from 2005.He also has a prototype 24-fret version of the JS which he has used with Chickenfoot.


Satriani and the band

Satriani has used a wide variety of guitar amps over the years, using Marshall Amplification for his main amplifier (notably the limited edition blue coloured 6100 LM model) up until 2001, and his Peavey signature series amps, the Peavey JSX, thereafter. The JSX began life as a prototype Peavey XXX and developed into the Joe Satriani signature Peavey model, now available for purchase in retail stores. Joe Satriani has used other amplifiers over the years in the studio, however. Those include the Peavey 5150 (used to record the song 'Crystal Planet'), Cornford, and the Mesa/Boogie Mark IIC+ (used to record the song 'Flying in a Blue Dream'), amongst others.


His effects pedals include the Vox wah, Dunlop Cry Baby wah, RMC Wizard Wah, Digitech Whammy, BK Butler Tube Driver, BOSS DS-1, BOSS CH-1, BOSS CE-2, BOSS DD-2 and a standard BOSS DD-3 (used together to emulate reverb effects), BOSS BF-3, BOSS OC-2, Barber Burn Drive Unit, Fulltone Deja Vibe, Fulltone Ultimate Octave, and Electro-Harmonix POG (Polyphonic Octave Generator), the latter being featured prominently on the title cut to his 2006 Super Colossal.


Satriani has partnered with Planet Waves to create a signature line of guitar picks and guitar straps featuring his sketch art.


Although Satriani endorses the JSX, he has used many amps in the studio when recording, including the Peavey Classic. He used Marshall heads and cabinets, including live, prior to his Peavey endorsement. Most recently Satriani used the JSX head through a Palmer Speaker Simulator. Joe Satriani has also released a Class-A 5-watt tube amp called the "Mini Colossal".


He is currently working with Vox on his own line of signature effects pedals designed to deliver Satriani's trademark tone plus a wide range of new sounds for guitarists of all playing styles and ability levels. The first being a signature distortion pedal titled the "Satchurator", and recently, the "Time Machine" which will be a delay pedal, with more to follow in 2008, including a wah pedal called the "Big Bad Wah".


Recurring themes


Satriani during a concert at the Rijnhal, Arnhem (June 12, 2008)

Satriani's work frequently makes references to various science fiction stories and ideas. "Surfing with the Alien", "Back to Shalla-Bal" and "The Power Cosmic 2000" refer to the comic book character Silver Surfer, while "Ice 9" refers to the secret government ice weapon in Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle. "Borg Sex" is a reference to Star Trek, which features a homogeneous cybernetic race known as the Borg. His albums and songs often have other-worldly titles, such as Not of this Earth, Crystal Planet, Is There Love in Space?, and Engines of Creation.


On the album Super Colossal the song titled "Crowd Chant" was originally called "Party on the Enterprise". "Party on the Enterprise" featured sampled sounds from the Starship Enterprise from the Star Trek TV show. But as Satriani explained in a podcast, legal issues regarding the samples could not be resolved and he was unable to get permission to use them. Satriani then removed the sounds from the song and called it "Crowd Chant."


"Redshift Riders", another song on the Super Colossal album, is "based on the idea that in the future, when people can travel throughout space, they will theoretically take advantage of the cosmological redshift effect so they can be swung around large planetary objects and get across universe a lot faster than normal," Satriani said in a podcast about the song.


On the album Professor Satchafunkilus and the Musterion of Rock the song "I Just Wanna Rock", is about a giant robot on the run who happens upon a rock concert.


Philanthropy


In 2006, Satriani signed on as an official supporter of Little Kids Rock, a non-profit organization that provides free musical instruments and instruction to children in underserved public schools throughout the U.S.A. Satriani has personally delivered instruments to children in the program through a charity raffle for the organization and, in common with Steve Vai, sits on its board of directors as an honorary member.


Awards and nominations


Nominations

Satriani has the most Grammy Award nominations of any artist (15) without winning.


Nominations
Year
Album
Category
1989
Always With Me, Always With You
Best Pop Instrumental Performance
1989
Surfing with the Alien
Best Rock Instrumental Performance
1990
The Crush of Love
Best Rock Instrumental Performance
1991
Flying in a Blue Dream
Best Rock Instrumental Performance
1993
The Extremist
Best Rock Instrumental Performance
1994
Speed of Light
Best Rock Instrumental Performance
1995
All Alone
Best Rock Instrumental Performance
1997
(You're) My World
Best Rock Instrumental Performance
1998
Summer Song (Live)
Best Rock Instrumental Performance
1999
A Train of Angels
Best Rock Instrumental Performance
2001
Until We Say Goodbye
Best Rock Instrumental Performance
2002
Always With Me, Always With You (Live)
Best Rock Instrumental Performance from Live in San Francisco
2003
Starry Night
Best Rock Instrumental Performance
2006
Super Colossal
Best Rock Instrumental Performance
2008
Always With Me, Always With You (Live)
Best Rock Instrumental Performance from Satriani Live!

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