Joseph "Joe" Satriani
(born July 15, 1956) is an American instrumental rock guitarist and
multi-instrumentalist. Early in his career, Satriani worked as a guitar
instructor, with many of his former students achieving fame, such as
Steve Vai, Larry LaLonde, Rick Hunolt, Kirk Hammett, Andy Timmons,
Charlie Hunter, Kevin Cadogan, and Alex Skolnick; he then went on to
have a successful solo music career. He is a 15-time Grammy Award
nominee and has sold over 10 million albums, making him the
biggest-selling instrumental rock guitarist of all time.
In 1988, Satriani was recruited by Mick Jagger as lead guitarist for his
first solo tour. In 1994, Satriani toured with Deep Purple as the lead
guitarist. He has worked with a range of guitarists during the G3 tour,
which he founded in 1995. His G3 collaborators have included Vai,
LaLonde, Timmons, Steve Lukather, John Petrucci, Eric Johnson, Yngwie
Malmsteen, Brian May, Patrick Rondat, Paul Gilbert, Adrian Legg, Kenny
Wayne Shepherd, Steve Morse and Robert Fripp. Satriani has been the lead
guitarist for the supergroup Chickenfoot since co-founding the band in
2008. Since 1988, he has been using his own signature guitars, the
Ibanez JS Series, which are sold in music stores worldwide. He has also
collaborated with Vox to create his own wah, delay, overdrive and
distortion pedals as well as a collaboration with Marshall Amplification
for the creation of his own signature series amplifier head, the
Satriani started playing in a San Francisco-based band called the
Squares, where he continued to network and make musical connections
(Squares sound man John Cuniberti co-produced his second album). He was
invited to join the Greg Kihn Band, who were on the downside of their
career, but whose generosity helped Satriani pay off the overwhelming
credit card debt from recording his first album Not of This Earth. 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, including Guitar World magazine.
In 1987, Satriani's second album Surfing with the Alien produced radio
hits and was the first all-instrumental release to chart so highly in
many years. The track "Crushing Day" was featured on the soundtrack of a
low-budget film titled It Takes Two. 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. It was said to be
inspired by the death of his father, who died in 1989 during the
recording of the album. "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. "Can't Slow
Down" featured in a car-chase sequence in the Don Johnson starring show
Joe Satriani also sang backing vocals on the self-titled Crowded House album. Satriani was a friend of Mitchell Froom.
In 1992, Satriani released The Extremist, his most critically acclaimed
and commercially successful album to date. Radio stations across the
country picked up "Summer Song," which got a major boost when Sony used
it in a major commercial campaign for their Discman portable CD players.
"Cryin'," "Friends," and the title track were regional hits on radio.
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, and Steve Morse took the guitarist slot in Deep Purple.
In 1996, Satriani founded the G3, a concert tour intended to feature a
trio of guitarists. The original lineup featured Satriani, Vai and Eric
Johnson. The G3 tour has continued periodically since its inaugural
version, with Satriani the only permanent member. Other guitarists who
have performed in G3 include among others: Yngwie Malmsteen, John
Petrucci, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Robert Fripp, Andy Timmons, Uli Jon
Roth, Michael Schenker, Adrian Legg, Paul Gilbert, Steve Morse and Steve
Lukather. In 1998 Satriani recorded and released Crystal Planet, which
went back to a sound reminiscent of his late '80s work. Planet was
followed up with Engines of Creation, one of his more experimental works
featuring the electronica genre. A pair of shows at the Fillmore West
in San Francisco were recorded in December 2000 and released as Live in
San Francisco, a two-disc live album and DVD.
Satriani regularly recorded and released evolving music, including
Strange Beautiful Music in 2002 and Is There Love in Space? in 2004. In
May 2005, Satriani toured India for the first time, playing concerts in
Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai. 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. 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, like Steve Vai, sits on its
board of directors as an honorary member.
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
never-before-seen live show filmed at the Montreux Jazz Festival in
1988. Satriani's next album Professor Satchafunkilus and the Musterion
of Rock, was released on April 1, 2008. Satriani released a live DVD
recording of a concert in Paris titled Live in Paris: I Just Wanna Rock
and a companion 2-CD set on February 2, 2010. In March 2010 Satriani
participated with other guitarists in the Experience Hendrix Tribute
Tour, performing music written and inspired by Jimi Hendrix.
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's suit claims 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 denied the allegation. An unspecified settlement was reached
between the parties.
In May 2010, Satriani announced he was about to enter the studio to
record a solo album, and dates were released for an autumn tour. He also
said that demos had been recorded for a second Chickenfoot album.
Satriani released his 13th studio album Black Swans and Wormhole
Wizards, on October 5, 2010.
Satriani released the DVD/Blu-ray of his 3D concert film Satchurated:
Live in Montreal on April 24, 2012 after its limited showing in
theaters. The film was shot in December 2010 in Montreal and was
directed by award-winning filmmakers François and Pierre Lamoureux.
Satchurated is the first Blu-ray concert film available in 3D with Dolby
On May 7, 2013 Satriani released his fourteenth studio album, titled
Unstoppable Momentum. A career retrospective box set titled Joe
Satriani: The Complete Studio Recordings, which contains remastered
editions of every studio album from Not of This Earth to Unstoppable
Momentum, was released on April 22, 2014. A book titled Strange
Beautiful Music: A Memoir was also released to coincide with the release
of the box set.
In August 2014, Satriani participated in the G4 Experience—a week-long
guitar camp—with fellow guitarists Paul Gilbert, Andy Timmons, and
keyboardist Mike Keneally.
February 2015 saw the first dates announced for the upcoming Shockwave
World Tour, beginning in Manchester, England on November 1, 2015 in
support of Satriani's fifteenth studio album, slated for release in