Saturday, May 24, 2014

Strange Beautiful Music – A Musical Memoir – Joe Satriani and Jake Brown (BenBella Books)

I have always been a casual fan of Joe Satriani’s music; he is a brilliant technical player and displays a unique ability to create interesting sounds. So I went into reading his autobiography not knowing a great deal about his background or musical history.

The book, Strange Beautiful Music – A Musical Memoir, places a real emphasis on the musical memoir portion of the title; if you’re looking for dirty details of life on the road and groupie stories, you may end up sadly disappointed. The focus here is truly on the music and the evolution of not only Satriani’s musical progression, but the in depth story behind the creation of his albums.

I was surprised to learn that not only had Satriani spent a year recording and playing with the poppy Greg Kihn Band, but also worked as a guitar teacher and spent time offering lessons to fellow guitar hero Steve Vai. While he offers up an amazing amount of technical how to throughout the book, Satriani clearly wants to keep what drives him has an artist front and center.

Satriani has left his indelible stamp on the musical landscape not only as a guitar hero in his own right, but also by creating a mythical presence with his love for the instrument. His solo work, combined with the G3 tours and recording and his coming full circle and being a member of Chickenfoot has solidified his place as one of the all-time greats, and Strange Beautiful Music, encapsulates that that journey.


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