Joe "Satch" Satriani
Joe Satriani was inspired to play guitar at age 14 after hearing that Jimi Hendrix had died. Satriani reportedly heard the news during a football training session where he immediately confronted his coach and announced that he was quitting to become a guitarist.
In 1974, he studied music with jazz guitarist Billy Bauer and with reclusive jazz pianist Lennie Tristano. The technically demanding Tristano greatly influenced Satriani's playing. Satriani also began teaching guitar, with his most notable student, at this time, being fellow Long Island native Steve Vai.
In 1978 Satriani moved to Berkeley, California to pursue a music career. Not long after his arrival he resumed teaching. His most notable California students included: Kirk Hammett (Metallica), David Bryson (Counting Crows), Kevin Cadogan (Third Eye Blind), Larry LaLonde (Primus), Alex Skolnick (Testament), Phil Kettner (Laaz Rockit),Charlie Hunter, and Steve Vai.
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. 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. Satriani also toured Australia and New Zealand with Mick Jagger in support of the Rolling Stones singer's solo album.
In 1989, Satriani released the album Flying in a Blue Dream. The album sold well, particularly in Texas. It was heavily promoted by KLBJ-FM in Austin. "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 Satch's few singles with personally sung vocals, was a minor hit in late 1989.
In 1992, Satriani released The Extremist, his most critically acclaimed and commercially successful CD 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. The CD is now considered a rock classic.
In late 1993 Satriani joined Deep Purple as a short-term replacement for departed guitarist Ritchie Blackmore during the band's Japanese tour. The concerts were such a success Satriani was asked to join the band permanently, although his long-term contract with Sony prevented this from happening.
In 1996, he formed G3, a concert tour featuring three instrumental rock guitarists -- originally Satriani, Vai, and Eric Johnson. The G3 tour has continued periodically since its inaugural version, where Satriani and Vai are returning members, featured with a floating third member, including Eric Johnson, Yngwie Malmsteen, John Petrucci, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Robert Fripp, Patrick Rondat and more.
In 1998 Satriani recorded and released Crystal Planet and in 2001 released a Live CD recorded at San Francisco in December 2000 which was also released as a music DVD.
In 2006 Satriani recorded Super Colossal and released another live album, Satriani Live!.