Tag Archives: Joe Satriani

Joe Satriani, Chrome Boys and Vintage Guitars

Joe Satriani is a pure legend when it comes to the guitar world, and it isn’t the first time we have focused on him on this blog (and who’s to say this will be the last time?), not only due to his amazing talent, his ingenuity and studio and live-performance legacy, but also due to the fact that he have been an influential teacher for many other guitar legends throughout the years. A self proclaimed Jimi Hendrix fanatic, Satriani have played guitar for more than 40 years now, for a large number of bands, and have due to his pure talent and constant need to evolve as a musician always been able to keep up with the rest of the world, almost consistently having all of his albums reach to rock billboard charts, a feat few instrumental focused artists can achieve in that genre.

Joe Satriani made up his mind and chose to pursue a career as a professional guitar player on the moment of receiving the news of Jimi Hendrix’s death, and spent the next couple of years completing his education all the while constantly practicing his skills. In 1978 he moved to California where his career as a guitar teacher and professional performer truly began to take root. 11 years later, after performing for a number of groups of various sizes, Satriani released his first solo album. The album was in part paid for the money he earned by touring with Mick Jagger in a period, and the combination of this, paired with his former students beginning to achieve fame as well and then in beginning to talk to the press and public about where they have received their training from gained Satriani quite some attention from the public. Though never a big rock star in the traditional way, his tenaciousness, talent and always working – always touring life ethos have ensured that Satriani is still a much beloved artists, currently playing in the supergroup Chickenfoot and playing and recording as a solo artist. Having put a considerable number of famous artists collaborations on his resume since the late 80s.

When it comes to guitars it at first appears as if surprisingly simplistic in his choice of guitars, mainly playing his own signature Ibanez JS series both when recording and when playing live, whether it be for his solo project or with Chickenfoot. And though the Ibanez JS series is in no way uninteresting – it features a series of rare chrome covered guitars after all – when one digs a little deeper it becomes apparent that like most guitar enthusiasts, and as a true Hendrix fanatic, Joe Satriani does indeed possess a sizeable collection of vintage guitars and rarities.

Here at Vintage & Rare we think that both the strange story of the Chromeboy Ibanez guitars as well as Satriani’s vintage collection deserves some room, and to that end we will now share some thoughts on both subjects. Here’s to hoping you’ll like it as much as we do!

The Ibanez JS series started off as a prototype model, modified from the Ibanez 540 Radius model, that Satriani originally endorsed in the late 80s, however when Ibanez approached him in regards to producing his own signature series, the collaboration led to the JS series replacing the Radius model completely. The main difference between the two series was originally the different pickups used, but there have since been made greater chances, both in regards to the body composition, the cutaway as well as the electronics. The JS series have also mainly been using DiMarzio pickups, and ever since Satriani got his own signature pickups from DiMarzio, the JS series have also featured these as the standard pickup of choice for the various JS guitars. For some people, the most interesting part of the story about the JS series is the Chromeboy versions of the series. Made in two generations, the Chromeboy guitar, have since then become a minor rarity, as there was only released a relative small amount of models of each version, both of which are prone to catastrophic breakdowns. As the name implies the Chromeboy guitars were actually chromed, i.e. that the body of the guitars were dipped in liquid metal that then covered the entire body. This method was highly controversial, due to a number of reasons. First and foremost the process is extremely difficult, especially on such a curved body, not to mention the difficulty in getting the metal to stick to the wood without destroying the body in the process. Besides this the process is also quite toxic, and potentially dangerous to the people involved in the process. Finally, the instability of the metal/wood combination leads to a high risk for fractures and cracks, all of which are extremely sharp and almost impossible to mend probably, leading to many a bleeding guitarist – something that everybody is keen to avoid! Though the chromeboy versions are now collector items, the regular JS series have instead become a staple product for Ibanez, and various new versions of the guitars are still being produced, all in close colaboration with Joe Satriani himself.

However, even though Satriani most often plays on his own signature series, it doesn’t mean that he only owns and only plays the Ibanez JS series. He does collect other kinds of guitars as well, but always with a very specific mindset. If he does not feel that he can play the guitars to the ability which he desires, then he has no problem with selling the guitar off again. While this might sound maddening to many collectors, there is a pureness to this mentality. Why rob other people of the opportunity to own these fantastic guitars, if he gets no joy from simply possessing them. For a technical innovator and workaholic like Satriani, having a guitar and not being able to play it properly seems to be an out of this world thought. As such his collection of rare and vintage instruments often reflects either the pursuit of a specific sound or a need for emulating they way some of Satriani’s idols played. His collection includes such rarities such as a 1948 Martin 000-21 acoustic guitar, 3 Gibsons from 1958 ( one Les Paul Junior, one TV Special and one L-5CES) as well as a beautiful 1966 Fender XII that Satriani likes so much that it have featured on almost every album he have been on since he procured the guitar.

No matter what he plays on we will be happy and content as long as he keeps up the tempo and value he have become famous for, and we hope that Joe Satriani will continue to create and inspire new works of guitar masterpieces.

For more guitar extravaganza visit Guitar world on youtube or on their webpage.
For more rig rundowns, visit Premier Guitars youtube channel or visit their homepage.
For more Joe Satriani videos, visit his fan-community youtube channel here, and if you just need more Satriani in general visit his webpage here.

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Joe Satriani interview: ”To my fans: I owe you everything”.

Joe Satriani is one of those guitarists who can be described in a single word – legend. Vintage & Rare is proud to present you interview with Joe, the guitarist whose music has no requirement for lyrics. He told us something about his musical beginnings, his inspiration and his plans for the future.

Could you please tell us a bit about how you got into playing music ? Do you remember any specific moments that sparked your interest in music and playing guitar?
I started playing the drums at age nine after seeing The Beatles and The Rolling Stones on TV. Then in September of 1970 I switched to guitar the day Jimi Hendrix died. He remains my main inspiration.

Which musicians or bands have been the greatest inspiration and have had the greatest influence on your understanding of music and your playing?
Besides Hendrix, I was influenced by early American blues, rock ’n’ roll, Motown, R & B, jazz and classical music. I played Black Sabbath and Led Zep in my early bands, and then some fusion. My greatest understanding of music came from my high school music theory teacher Bill Westcott. He gave me my foundation.

What advise you you give to fans wishing to perfect their playing and broaden out their understanding of music?
Practice being a musician everyday, be creative and curious and never stop learning.

How many days a year do you spend on road? Is it hard to be on a tour and still keep the mindset to create and produce music?
It seems like I’m on tour half of every year these days. Some years see me touring more, some less. The music business is always changing, you have to be able to adapt.

Can you please tell us about the guitars, amps and effects you are mainly  using, and why you have chosen the guitars & gear you have?
My main guitar now is my Ibanez JS2400. I have come to really love the 24 fret JS model now. I have put a Sustainiac pickup in a few of my 2400’s as well, they are very useful and add functionality to the guitar. My new signature Marshall JVM410H JS head is fantastic! I love playing through this new system as it really sets me free.

Do the guitars & gear you play live differ from the guitars you’re using during recording sessions?
Not really. The last two records and tours both solo and with Chickenfoot saw me with the same gear.

Maybe you could eloborate a little bit about your collaboration with Ibanez and the cool Chromeboy project?
Chromeboy was born back in 1990! It is so very hard to successfuly chrome a guitar body made of wood. We have tried everything you can think of, but it still eludes all who try. Eventually the chrome lifts away from the body, cracks and becomes dangerous. Now, the very process of chroming is being restricted due to safetey concerns for the environment as well as the people doing the chroming. So, if you’ve got an original Chromeboy, keep it safe!

Are you into vintage guitars & old amps/effects? If yes which brands/models and why? Maybe you have a special story to tell around one or more of your guitars?
I like to collect vintage Fender, Gibson and Martin guitars. Mainly Strats, Tele’s, Les Pauls and acoustics. My current favorite is a 1969 Olympic White maple-cap Stratocaster. It’s a total Hendrix-fetish collectable, and it sounds great too!

Any exciting new projects that you would like to tell us more about? Could you please eloborate more on your movie Satchurated 3D.
Having ”Satchurated 3D” playing theaters around the world is just so cool! Think about it, an instrumental rock guitar movie in theaters, what a crazy world we live in! When we release the DVD and people see the whole show and the bonus features they will freak out!

Any famous last words?
To my fans: Thank you so much for listening to me play my guitar! I owe you everything and will keep playing my best as long as I live.


Would you like to add something about Joe Satriani? Please leave a comment…

Guest-blog by Gavin Wilson of guitarz.blogspot.com

Guitarz.blogspot.com was the first guitar-blog on the web. Thus, we here at Vintage & Rare.com figured that it would be a good idea to have founder and writer Gavin Wilson write a couple of guest-posts on our blog. Below is the first one:

Yamaha SG-3 from 1966

As the author of the internet’s longest running guitar blog (at guitarz.blogspot.com – started in August 2002 – seriously there were NO other guitar blogs then) I am of course a keen guitar enthusiast, even if I do tend to find myself writing about guitars more than actually playing them. Over the years I have bought and sold many guitars; I have owned well over 50 guitars over the years, and currently have a modest collection of approximately 20 instruments. Of these I have three that I would call vintage guitars. Obviously this would depend on your definition of “vintage”; such instruments need to be of a certain age, but also there should be an element of desirability.
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