Sunday, 7 June 2009

Guitar Heroes - Joe Satriani

Joe Satriani is one of the most incredible guitarists I have ever seen live – and I have seen many.

I first stumbled across his work in 1989, when I heard a superb song called “Big Bad Moon”. I loved the video accompanying the song and as I watched and listened I thought to myself, this guy can really play the bloody guitar.

I was so awestruck that I mentioned him to a mate at work, who turned out to be a huge fan. He lent me a video featuring videos and work from his second album “Surfing with the Alien”. I was converted and bought the album “Flying In A Blue Dream”, containing “Big Bad Moon”.

When Joe released the follow up album, “The Extremist”, he toured the UK and I had the chance to see him in Birmingham. As we travelled to the gig, I listened to “The Extremist” and was disappointed to hear that he didn’t sing. However, the more I heard it the more I thought, the songs stand out even without vocals.

As for the concert, I was stunned at how superb Joe Satriani was live; I have never seen a more technically advanced guitarist ever – he turned his guitar into a living entity. It was sheer brilliance. I have seen him twice now, the second time in Manchester, where he was even better.

What’s even more incredible is the fact that Joe Satriani actually helped two other guitar heroes of mine to learn the guitar: Kirk Hammett of Metallica and the incredible Steve Vai.

Furthermore, when Ritchie Blackmore left Deep Purple in the lurch in the 90’s, Joe Satriani stepped in and completed the tour. I would have loved to have seen the great man performing “Highway Star”. Not many (if any) can simply step into the shoes of the great Ritchie Blackmore.

Anyway, here are a few of my favourite Joe Satriani songs:

(1) Big Bad Moon
(2) Summer Song
(3) Crystal Planet
(4) War
(5) Satch Boogie
(6) Crowd Chant
(7) Ceremony
(8) Flying In A Blue Dream
(9) Surfing With The Alien
(10) Motorcycle Driver

He has now formed a supergroup with Sammy Hagar, Chad Smith and Michael Anthony. I can’t wait to hear what they sound like.

Finally, here is Joe performing “Big Bad Moon” with another legendary guitarist, Brian May, and the fantastic and sorely missed drummer, Cozy Powell, way back in 1992.


kathcom said...

My husband and I saw him at the Beacon Theater years ago.

He is just jaw-droppingly talented. I found myself transported like literally being carried along by the wave of his playing. And no, I was not chemically altered. I was altered by Joe.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Kathcom,

Yep - me too. I have always loved a good guitarist but Joe is absolutely special - if there is a more talented guitarist (which I doubt) I would love to hear his work.




bingkee said...

He is also one of my hubby's favorite guitarists. But his top 3 are; Eddie Van Halen, Ywingie Malmsteen, &Jimmy Page.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Bingkee,

All fabulous guitarists, particularly Jimmy Page (who is on my list for a later post).