Joe “Satch” Satriani is an instrumental rock guitarist and teacher, and a recognized virtuoso of the rock guitar. Guitarists Alex Skolnick, Larry Lalonde, Steve Vai, Charlie Hunter and Kirk Hammett were among his students. Satriani often tours as the guitar playing trio G3, usually with 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) and Charlie Hunter.
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 1992, Satriani released The Extremist, his most critically acclaimed and commercially successful album 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 album 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 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, Paul Gilbert and more.
In 2008 Satriani started a new side project with ex-Van Halen members Sammy Hagar and Michael “Mikey” Anthony, and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith. By the end of 2008 they revealed the band’s name as Chickenfoot. Their first album, titled Chickenfoot, was released in June 2009.