Joe Satriani attended the same Long Island school as Steve Vai (Carle Place High School), and also taught Vai guitar. Satriani once admitted to Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles, "I still think it's pretty freaky that Steve and I wound up achieving what we set out to achieve when we were just young kids."
In addition to teaching Vai, Satriani taught many subsequently renowned guitarists after relocating to California, including Metallica's Kirk Hammett, Primus' Larry LaLonde, Testament's Alex Skolnick, Counting Crows' David Bryson, and Third Eye Blind's Kevin Cadogan.
Before launching his successful solo career, Satriani was a member of the Greg Kihn Band. Although he did not play on the group's biggest hit, "Jeopardy," Satriani did appear on their 1986 album, Love Rock and Roll, as well as the 1996 archival release, King Biscuit Flower Hour.
Satriani's third solo album, Flying in a Blue Dream, was his first to feature vocals (which Satriani supplied himself), as heard on the tunes "Can't Slow Down," "Strange," "I Believe," "Big Bad Moon," "The Phone Call," and "Ride."
Over the years, renowned rock artists - including Mick Jagger in 1988 and Deep Purple in 1993 - have enlisted Satriani as a "hired gun" for tours.
Satriani founded "G3" in 1996, a multi-artist tour that showcases hard rock's top guitar shredders. Joining Satriani on these annual bills over the years have been Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, Dream Theater's John Petrucci, King Crimson's Robert Fripp, Michael Schenker, Queen's Brian May, Journey's Neal Schon, ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons, and many others.
Satriani has exclusively used his own signature instrument, Ibanez's JS Series, ever since 1988. His most famous guitar is one whose body is covered in a chrome-like material.
Satriani filed a copyright infringement suit against Coldplay in 2008, claiming that the Coldplay tune, "Viva La Vida
," too closely resembled his own composition, "If I Could Fly." Speaking to Rolling Stone
, Satriani explained, "I spent so long writing the song, thinking about it, loving it, nursing it, and then finally recording it and standing on stages the world over playing it - and then somebody comes along and plays the exact same song and calls it their own."
A year later, the matter was settled between the two parties for an unspecified monetary amount.
On the self-titled debut by the supergroup Chickenfoot, Satriani co-wrote the majority of the songs with singer Sammy Hagar (two of the album's eleven tracks were penned by the entire band).
Over the years, Satriani has been nominated for a staggering 15 Grammy Awards (mostly in the "Best Rock Instrumental Performance" category), but he has never won.