"Humble" and "down to earth" are just two common ways people have described the amazing Joe Satriani, who really was a catalyst in making me realize with a song and a dream you could release your own records on your own label, as Joe did in 1986 with "Not Of This Earth". Interestingly, a stint with the Greg Kihn Band found the band helping Satriani pay off the overwhelming credit card debt from the recording costs from his first album.
Early in adult life, Satriani worked as a guitar instructor, with a notable roster including Steve Vai, Larry LaLonde, Rick Hunolt, Kirk Hammett, Andy Timmons, Charlie Hunter, Kevin Cadogan, and Alex Skolnick. Joe 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 bestselling instrumental rock guitarist of all time.
I was fortunate enough to find out about Satriani through Guitar Player and Guitar World magazine in the late '80s, and was able to catch him live at the Rialto Theatre in Raleigh, touring with Stuart Hamm and Jonathan Mover in support of "Surfing With The Alien". His music is virtuosic, inspirational and heavily melodic and I would certainly consider Satriani one of my top ten all-time influences.
Since "Surfing With The Alien", Satriani has continued to release new music on more than a dozen albums, from 1989's "Flying in a Blue Dream" through to 2020's "Shapeshifting".
In this wide-ranging 2019 interview, Musician Institute’s interviewer really digs into Satriani's early years, especially the time he spent as a guitar instructor. Dedication to your craft, live playing, his own experiences as a guitar student, branded tours (G3, etc.), and other topics of musical interest provide great entertainment and information for an hour-and-a-half.
Dan McAvinchey is a guitarist and composer living in Raleigh, NC.
He believes every musician or composer has the power to write, record and release their own music.
His 1997 CD release on Guitar Nine was entitled "Guitar Haus".
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