I admit it -- when I was a teenager first learning how to play guitar, I thought Joe Satriani was the shit. After all, he taught Metallica's Kirk Hammett how to play all those crazy-fast solos, and for an all-instrumental guitar album -- the kind pimped on the inside cover of Guitar Player magazine every month -- Satch's 1987 disc Surfing With the Alien was pretty cool and inspiring. At least at the time. Then, I both discovered the Pixies' Surfer Rosa and realized I'd never be able to play those crazy-fast solos, nor did I want to, and Satriani was dead to me.
Still, the Satch-man, now 51, continues to shred and wail for the faithful that, unlike me, never deserted him, and you can see his fingers fly all over the fretboard this evening at Guitar Center on Westlake. This is the final date on his "Guitar Center Sessions" tour, which he's been doing to celebrate the release of his new album, Professor Satchafunkilus and the Musterion of Rock. He'll be playing live (new and old stuff), autographing whatever you stick in front of him, and doing a Q&A session. The whole shebang starts at 6 p.m. sharp.
If you go, tell Joe I'm sorry for cutting him loose, and that I'll try to catch up with what he's been doing the past two decades. Maybe.