That time Joe Satriani told me that Jeff Beck’s Blow By Blow was just the kind of music his generation wanted to hear

By Steve Newton Man, was 1975 the best year for guitar-based rock or what? That’s the year I graduated high school, and spent countless hours cramming my head with riffs from LPs like Thin Lizzy‘s Fighting, Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti, Bad Company‘s Straight Shooter, Heart‘s Dreamboat Annie, and the self-titled debuts by Ian Hunter, the … Continue reading That time Joe Satriani told me that Jeff Beck’s Blow By Blow was just the kind of music his generation wanted to hear

That time Joe Satriani told me that he vowed to take up guitar on the day Jimi Hendrix died

By Steve Newton Jimi Hendrix has to be the most influential electric guitarist of all time. Joe Satriani surely wouldn’t argue the point. When I did the first of my eight interviews with Satch back in 1990, after the release of Flying in a Blue Dream, I asked him if it was true that he … Continue reading That time Joe Satriani told me that he vowed to take up guitar on the day Jimi Hendrix died

That time Joe Satriani told me why Neil Young was such a great guitarist

By Steve Newton Back in 1990 I did the first of my eight interviews with American guitar wizard Joe Satriani. At the time Satch was touring behind his Flying in a Blue Dream album, which is one fine batch of tunes. At one point in the conversation I asked him about a quote in Kerrang! … Continue reading That time Joe Satriani told me why Neil Young was such a great guitarist

That time I asked Joe Satriani who his best guitar student was and he said Steve Vai caught on the quickest

By Steve Newton Back in January of 1990 I did the first of my seven interviews with Joe Satriani. At the time he was touring behind his latest album, Flying in a Blue Dream, and the buzz about him was growing fast. People were learning that he’d spent several years as a guitar instructor, teaching … Continue reading That time I asked Joe Satriani who his best guitar student was and he said Steve Vai caught on the quickest

That time Joe Satriani told me how his mind works when he’s playing wicked guitar on stage

By Steve Newton Some guitarists learn how to play by ear, and others–like Joe Satriani–learn how to play by the book. Satch knows music theory better than most, so when I did my first interview with him back in 1990–just after the release of Flying in a Blue Dream–I asked him how that relates to … Continue reading That time Joe Satriani told me how his mind works when he’s playing wicked guitar on stage

That time I asked Joe Satriani why he chose Ibanez guitars instead of Strats and Les Pauls

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Joe Satriani eight times because, hey, nobody plays guitar like Satch. He’s one of a kind. The last time I interviewed him was in 2018, and the first time was way the funk back in January of 1990, when he was touring behind his stunning Flying in a Blue Dream album. … Continue reading That time I asked Joe Satriani why he chose Ibanez guitars instead of Strats and Les Pauls

That time 26-year-old Stevie Salas told me about opening for Joe Satriani on the Blue Dream tour

By Steve Newton Way the funk back in June of 1990 I interviewed singer-songwriter and kick-ass guitarist Stevie Salas, who at the time was promoting his Stevie Salas Colorcode album, which I liked enough to put on my Top 10 list that year. “Hendrix meets Funkadelic in the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ practice space,” was … Continue reading That time 26-year-old Stevie Salas told me about opening for Joe Satriani on the Blue Dream tour

That time I asked Steve Morse if the success of Joe Satriani and Steve Vai boded well for instrumental-rock artists

By Steve Newton When I interviewed Steve Morse for the first time in May of 1991, the American instrumental-rock scene was making great strides. While Morse himself was winning over critics with his Southern Steel album, both Joe Satriani and Steve Vai were heading toward gold-album status with their most recent discs, Flying in a … Continue reading That time I asked Steve Morse if the success of Joe Satriani and Steve Vai boded well for instrumental-rock artists

Album review: Joe Satriani, Flying in a Blue Dream (1989)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 15, 1989 By Steve Newton Joe Satriani is the ultimate hero for air guitarists. When he burst on to the mainstream recording scene with the all-instrumental Surfing With the Alien last year, his high-voltage attack had people everywhere going, “What the hell is that?” Not since Eddie Van … Continue reading Album review: Joe Satriani, Flying in a Blue Dream (1989)

Meeting with the Alien: hangin’ with Joe Satriani backstage in Vancouver

By Steve Newton Went and saw Joe Satriani at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver last night, and holy crap was he smokin’! I must have seen Satch live around 10 times over the years–including on various G3 tours–and I don’t think he’s ever played better. Having such a wicked backing band–guitarist-keyboardist Mike Kenneally, bassist Bryan … Continue reading Meeting with the Alien: hangin’ with Joe Satriani backstage in Vancouver

Joe Satriani on the intricacies of amplification and producer Mike Fraser’s “perfect set of ears”

By Steve Newton When Joe Satriani phones from his home in the San Francisco Bay Area, he apologizes right away for being a few minutes late with the scheduled call. He explains that he was playing his guitar, composing a song, and lost track of time. That’s when it’s my turn to feel regretful, because … Continue reading Joe Satriani on the intricacies of amplification and producer Mike Fraser’s “perfect set of ears”

Joe Satriani compares the musical styles and backgrounds of recent G3 tourmates John Petrucci, Uli Jon Roth, and Phil Collen

By Steve Newton I interviewed Joe Satriani a couple of weeks ago, in advance of his show in Vancouver this Friday (June 1) at the Commodore Ballroom. I’ve seen Satch a bunch of times–including on various G3 Tours with the likes of Eric Johnson, Yngwie Malmsteen, and Steve Vai–so I wanted to ask him about … Continue reading Joe Satriani compares the musical styles and backgrounds of recent G3 tourmates John Petrucci, Uli Jon Roth, and Phil Collen

Album review: Joe Satriani, Surfing with the Alien (1988)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 3, 1988 By Steve Newton Boy, talk about a guitarist’s wet dream! This Satriani guy comes up with some of the wildest, most innovative rock guitar sounds in many a day. He even makes Eddie Van Halen sound like a hacker! Okay, so maybe he’s not that good. But if … Continue reading Album review: Joe Satriani, Surfing with the Alien (1988)

Joe Satriani responds to Yngwie Malmsteen’s claim that Ibanez guitars are “a bad copy” of the Strat

By Steve Newton I did my eighth interview with Joe Satriani a couple years ago, and finally got to ask him about something that his former G3 tourmate Yngwie Malmsteen once said to me. Back in 2014 I had interviewed Yngwie in advance of his Guitar Gods show in Vancouver, and that was when he … Continue reading Joe Satriani responds to Yngwie Malmsteen’s claim that Ibanez guitars are “a bad copy” of the Strat

Album review: Joe Satriani/Eric Johnson/Steve Vai G3—Live in Concert (1997)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 10, 1997 By Steve Newton Talk about a rock-guitar freak’s dream gig! Three American masters of the electric six-string unite for a tour that sees each of them performing a separate set before they combine on a three-song jam-o-rama. Break out the air guitars, kids—and dust up on … Continue reading Album review: Joe Satriani/Eric Johnson/Steve Vai G3—Live in Concert (1997)

Album review: Joe Satriani, The Extremist (1992)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 10, 1992 By Steve Newton As much as I admire Kim Mitchell as a musician and songwriter, I must say that he ticked me off somewhat when I interviewed him a couple of months back. We were talking guitarists when Joe Satriani’s name came up, and Mitchell … Continue reading Album review: Joe Satriani, The Extremist (1992)

Bass god Stu Hamm compares Joe Satriani to Steve Vai and raves about Jaco Pastorius

By Steve Newton Way back in October of 1991 I did an interview with bassist Stu Hamm, a giant of the four-string who was best known for his work with guitar heroes Joe Satriani and Steve Vai. He had recently released his album The Urge, and was headed to Vancouver for a club gig. At … Continue reading Bass god Stu Hamm compares Joe Satriani to Steve Vai and raves about Jaco Pastorius

Joe Satriani isn’t a Gibson man but he’s the ultimate melody maker

By Steve Newton Joe Satriani has long been known as one of the most technically proficient rock guitarists around, a speedy fretburner and masterful creator of—to use the title of his 2002 album—Strange Beautiful Music. The beauty in his tunes has a lot to do with his ability to craft gorgeous melodies. You may recall … Continue reading Joe Satriani isn’t a Gibson man but he’s the ultimate melody maker

Joe Satriani likes Uli Jon Roth’s “beautiful sounding” Sky guitar, but figures 24 frets are enough for him

By Steve Newton Back in 2016 I went and saw Uli Jon Roth’s Ultimate Guitar Experience in Vancouver, and man–the things the German guitar wizard and ex-Scorp can do on his 32-fret Sky guitar are something to behold. So a few weeks later when I interviewed Joe Satriani for the sixth or seventh time I asked him what … Continue reading Joe Satriani likes Uli Jon Roth’s “beautiful sounding” Sky guitar, but figures 24 frets are enough for him

That time I asked Joe Satriani to pick five “desert islands discs” and he went 80 percent Hendrix

By Steve Newton Back in 2016 I interviewed one of my fave guitarists, Joe Satriani, for the seventh time. I’m always curious what the world’s finest pickers would choose as their “desert island discs”–the albums they’d choose if they were ever stranded like Gilligan, but with some vinyl and a killer stereo. And electricity, of … Continue reading That time I asked Joe Satriani to pick five “desert islands discs” and he went 80 percent Hendrix

Uli Jon Roth recalls the friction between Joe Satriani and Michael Schenker on the 1998 G3 European tour

By Steve Newton Back in 2016 I had a nice chat with German guitar maestro Uli Jon Roth. As we were talking about Uli Jon Roth’s Ultimate Guitar Experience–the tour he was on with Jennifer Batten and Andy Timmons–I mentioned a previous guitar tour he was part of, the G3 European Tour of 1998. That … Continue reading Uli Jon Roth recalls the friction between Joe Satriani and Michael Schenker on the 1998 G3 European tour

Joe Satriani astounds the Newt yet again with the magical Shockwave Supernova

By Steve Newton (photo too) I’ve been a huge Joe Satriani fan since the first time I heard him, back in ’87 or so, around the time of Surfing With the Alien. I interviewed him for the first time in January of 1990 before a show at the 86 Street Music Hall in Vancouver, and have tried to … Continue reading Joe Satriani astounds the Newt yet again with the magical Shockwave Supernova

Chickenfoot guitarist Joe Satriani was into Humble Pie as a kid, missed out on Montrose

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MAY 13, 2009 By Steve Newton Any self-respecting rock-guitar freak has at least a couple of Joe Satriani CDs in his or her collection. The Bay Area musician has been steadily churning out adventurous, technically boggling instrumental albums since blasting onto the six-string scene in 1986 with Not of This Earth. … Continue reading Chickenfoot guitarist Joe Satriani was into Humble Pie as a kid, missed out on Montrose

The Aristocrats’ Guthrie Govan on the influence of Joe Satriani and Zal Cleminson

By Steve Newton Back in 2015 I interviewed guitarist Guthrie Govan, who–while not nearly as well known as the Satrianis and Vais of the world–is equally monstrous when it comes to technical ability and musical inventiveness. He plays in an instrumental rock-fusion trio called the Aristocrats, which made its debut Vancouver appearance at the Rickshaw Theatre. … Continue reading The Aristocrats’ Guthrie Govan on the influence of Joe Satriani and Zal Cleminson

Joe Satriani recalls birthday boy Les Paul making fun of his whammy bar

By Steve Newton Tomorrow is a big day for fans of electric guitar: that’s the day that legendary guitarist, inventor, and innovator Les Paul would have turned 100. The celebration of Paul’s legacy includes a big event at the Hard Rock Café in New York’s Times Square, featuring performances by Joe Bonamassa, Steve Vai, Warren Haynes, Steve Miller, Joan … Continue reading Joe Satriani recalls birthday boy Les Paul making fun of his whammy bar

Bay Area guitar great Will Bernard says Carlos Santana and Joe Satriani are tough to beat

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 23, 2003 By Steve Newton Will Bernard may be one of the best guitarists you’ve never heard of, but they sure know about him down in San Francisco. He was nominated for outstanding guitarist at the California Music Awards the past two years running, and the competition was … Continue reading Bay Area guitar great Will Bernard says Carlos Santana and Joe Satriani are tough to beat