I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “don’t ever meet you’re heroes you will be disappointed.” Well I actually started off on the right foot with that when I was much younger, I got to send an entire day escorting Pat Benatar around a banquet. I might have been disappointed had I actually been able to put more than 2 words together, but a bad stutter and the anxiety of being 17 kept my mouth shut was more than enough to make it an amazing day.
I learned at about this same point in my life to read Biographies of famous and successful people. The idea being of course to benefit from THEIR mistakes and hopefully avoid some of yours! I’m sure that I started off just they way my mentors wanted me to I read Ben Franklin, Winston Churchill, JFK, all the GREATS in history. My mom meanwhile was always reading the “hollywood exposes”, what I called the “drug user of the month book club. Because it seemed that no matter HOW much fame or fortune these folks had, the eventually ended up dying in someone elses bed, or car gagging on their own vomit, due to an OD. So I did my best to avoid those.
Did a pretty good job too, until I was housebound the first time with my first hip replacement, then my brain couldn’t focus on anything as deep a Hawking or Feynman, and I needed some “lighter fair. So being a guitarist I started with some of the most famous guitar players on planet earth, and that brings me back around t today’s post.
Tony Iommi, Randy Rhoads, Cyndi Lauper even Gene Simmons all did a really nice job of relating their stories and in the while if they sprinkled in some illicit excitement I kind f get what mom saw. So imagine my surprise when I find out that Joe Satriani has published his bio. I did something I never do with books, I htr the “pre order” button on Amazon. I say never because if you wait a bit you can almost always find a used copy for a penny with $3.99 shipping. Thats a hard back book, some with the receipt still inside, for $4 shipped!
I couldn’t wait for Joe’s book to arrive, I mean this was the guy who gave Steve Vai guitar lessons, this was the performer who went “Surfing with the alien”, and forced a guitar instrumental to number ONE on the charts! This is a guy who probably does the NY Times crossword in ink! He’s probably one of 3 Heavy Metal musicians with a genius IQ’s. I was finally going to get an enlightened view of touring, I was going to see what a guy who is not out chasing girls does with his downtime. I mean this is the guy who wrote the 30 hour guitar workout! (have I mentioned I play guitar?)
Now before I get into my thoughts I must say that in almost any guitar magazine that you buy you will always find one constant somewhere in the magazine. In at least one interview with an artist, who is undoubtedly on tour, you will get questions from the interviewer about the specifics of the gear that the artist used. Depending on how much space is in the article you get not only the make and models of the guitars and amps, no only their pedals and setting, but down to the picks and the strings!
Truly fascinating reading <yawn>. Now I admit, it CAN be, if written well and from one guitarist to another it is interesting, but this is NOT Guitar World Weekly, this is a BOOK about your life. Now if youre making an al;bum please give us some insight n whats going on. If you use or create a new piece of gear, explain what makes it unique. If you’re developing a new technique and don’t want to give it away, that’s your right.
But PLEASE JOE I want to read about what drove you to become a star when teaching in your moms store was the only job you could find. I want to know how someone in middle age tours so much and stays in such incredible shape, I want to learn how a guy who is gone 200 days a year still has the same sweetheart that he’s been married to all along. What I DON’T want is to spend $25 and 320 pages reading about the guy who produced the 1st album and all the guys who played which instruments on that album. I’m not that interested in a song by song breakdown and a line by line listing of what guitar, amp and plectrums you used. I don’t believe ANYONE needs to know that the world CARES about what pack of strings you used on which guitar plugged into which effect using what batteries……
Yet there we have it. I will admit there are approximately 2 dozen pages on his early life and what inspired him to play, and then he found smoke bombs,,,,,,(he never does reveal where to buy THOSE). Joe, man I love your music, I respect your playing I’m in awe by your compositions but dude I bought a book about YOU, there are any number of fan pages, web sights or magazine articles to fill in those gaps. Man your fans love YOU not your capo’s