By Kelly Dearmore
By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
When asked about being omitted from Rolling Stone's 2003 list of the top 100 guitarists of all time, legendary axeman Joe Satriani offers his own blunt assessment of the magazine's omission: "Everyone knows that Rolling Stone is shit," Satriani says from a tour stop in Canada. "That list was made to be provocative, to get attention. And to Rolling Stone's credit, the list has gotten that attention."
There were other serious blunders—no Billy Gibbons, just to start—but none more glaring than leaving off Satriani. For over three decades, Satriani has burned up more fretboards than a couple of hundred grunge bands. Hell, the guy's list of students includes Metallica's Kirk Hammett, Steve Vai and Andy Timmons, just to name a few.
And, clearly, the guy also knows a thing or two about writing a catchy tune, too. How else could an instrumentalist sell over 10 million albums and receive 14 Grammy nominations? Technically impressive and thoughtfully composed, Satriani's songs are meant to impress. They're meant to awe the primarily male audience members into shaking their heads while saying, "Dude, this Satriani guy is awesome." His landmark effort remains 1987's Surfing with the Alien, an album that produced a couple radio hits and inspired a horde of young kids to pick up the guitar and start shredding.
Sure, Satriani showed a lapse in judgment when he joined Sammy Hagar in Chickenfoot. But a guy's got to make a living.