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Joe Satriani
20 years on, Satch and his guitar continue to make some heart-beating, breath-taking, earth-quaking noise!

Talking to you, our readers, about the brilliance of guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani, is like preaching to the converted. In the 20 years since this former guitar teacher made his debut with the acclaimed solo album Not Of This Earth, Satriani has gone on to earn accolades [more than ten million sales of 11 solo albums (two platinum, four gold), 13 Grammy nominations, 3 platinum DVD's, the historic G3 guitar summits, tours/sessions with everyone from Mick Jagger to Deep Purple to Spinal Tap] and titles [Guitar God – one that he is embarrassed by, we’d have you know].

What really stands out for us, having interviewed him in person, [all jealousy-filled hate mail to our Editor please], is his enthusiasm for music. After all these years, that he is still a music-lover first and guitar virtuoso later is what makes him a real rockstar in our eyes.

Celebrating 20 years of musical magic, Satriani gets set to release an album aptly titled Super Colossal. From the moment we heard the first bars of the title track, we’ve been wanting to share more than just an article with you. So here’s a double whammy – read up on Satch essentials, then enter our fabulous contest and you could win some impressive prizes. Check it out!

On his early records…
"People who picked up on my records early on knew that I couldn't be easily pigeonholed. I was never a metal player or a fusion player or a straight-ahead rock player, though these are all elements of my personality. I think I just go further into each of those places now, especially on Super Colossal. To me, there's more variety here than on any other album I've done."

On the beginnings of Super Colossal…
“It dawned on me that I didn't want to do that live album right now. In fact, I was totally against it. Instead, I wanted to stay in my little cave – my home studio – and build a beautiful but powerful record, one that sounds big on the surface but also has details hidden inside that you hear after listening for maybe the tenth time."

1. Satriani’s journey as a guitarist began when he was only 14. He was at a football training session when he heard on the news that legendary guitar hero Jimi Hendrix had died. Apparently Satriani was so moved that he immediately went up to his coach and announced that he was quitting football to become a guitarist.

2. He was a native of New York but established himself first on the San Francisco music scene during the early 1980s as a guitar teacher. He became one of the best known teachers in the area and taught several pupils who then went on to become famous guitarists such as Kirk Hammett (Metallica), Larry LaLonde (Primus) and Steve Vai. His favourite student, he told The Record last year, “is probably my son”.

3. Satriani's popularity as a guitarist really grew with the release of his acclaimed 1987 album Surfing With The Alien, (one of the few all-instrumental albums to ever reach the Top 40). This album had such a big influence on other guitarists that Satriani has since become known as a ‘guitar player's guitar player’.

4. Satriani has influenced countless aspiring guitarists. Who was one of his early influences? He tells The Record that it was his high school music theory teacher. He shares an important lesson with us in an interview, “When I was in high school my music theory teacher told me that it would be a good idea to train the musician in my mind along with my body because it may turn out that my body wouldn’t co-operate fully at some point but my mind would present endless possibilities. So if I developed a powerful musical mind it would help my physical body achieve greater success with all the difficulties in the instruments.”

You can read the rest of our exclusive with Joe Satriani in the April 2006 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.


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