That time Joe Satriani told me that he strove for a live sound worthy of Yes, Pink Floyd, and the Grateful Dead

By Steve Newton I did the first of my eight interviews with Joe Satriani back in January of 1990, when he was touring behind his awesome Flying in a Blue Dream album. As the conversation wound down I asked him if it was tricky controlling the acoustics at some venues, playing at the volume that … Continue reading That time Joe Satriani told me that he strove for a live sound worthy of Yes, Pink Floyd, and the Grateful Dead

Guitar wizard Dave Martone calls his mentor Joe Satriani a member of “the Good Guy Club”

By Steve Newton I interviewed Dave Martone last week for a story in the Georgia Straight‘s annual Best of Vancouver issue, because when I think about who might be the best guitarist in Vancouver, he always comes to mind. At one point in the conversation I asked Martone about his relationship with Joe Satriani, because … Continue reading Guitar wizard Dave Martone calls his mentor Joe Satriani a member of “the Good Guy Club”

That time I asked Ian Gillan if he ever wished Joe Satriani had become a permanent member of Deep Purple

By Steve Newton As most dedicated Deep Purple fans know, Joe Satriani was once a member of that legendary band. The Bay Area guitar wizard joined in December of 1993 after the volatile Ritchie Blackmore quit and left the group high-and-dry in the middle of a tour. Satch only stayed in the lineup for a … Continue reading That time I asked Ian Gillan if he ever wished Joe Satriani had become a permanent member of Deep Purple

That time Joe Satriani told me that he wanted Flying in a Blue Dream to be something heavy and deep

By Steve Newton When I did my first interview with Joe Satriani in January of 1990 his Flying in a Blue Dream album had been out for only two months, and word had gotten around about what an ambitious project it was, clocking in at nearly 65 minutes. (His previous full-length disc, Surfing With the … Continue reading That time Joe Satriani told me that he wanted Flying in a Blue Dream to be something heavy and deep

That time Joe Satriani told me how an unsolicited Mastercard application got Not of This Earth off the ground

By Steve Newton You know how you’re always getting those unsolicited credit-card applications in the mail? The ones that say “Dear [insert your name here]. You’ve been approved for a shitload of money, so just sign up here.” Well, Joe Satriani got one of those once, and it turned out to be exactly what he … Continue reading That time Joe Satriani told me how an unsolicited Mastercard application got Not of This Earth off the ground

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)