Supergroup-specialist Joe Satriani spoke with Noisecreep about his new 3D Concert film 'Satchurated' and how Mick Jagger gave his career the kick start it needed. Read an excerpt from the interview below:
Joe, you've played with so many of the great guitarists over the years - anyone in particular you've yet to play with that you dream about?
It's funny. I can plan and dream and scheme about certain guys - like say Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck - guys I grew up loving that I would kill to play with. Then out of the blue comes something like Chickenfoot, a band I never expected but that I love to death. Who could have predicted that? So you can plan, and that's cool, you have to do that - but you have to keep an open mind because sometimes you wind up playing with people you never thought about, but it becomes like a dream gig. That's what I think about Chickenfoot. We just have so much fun.
Joe, can you take us back to the tour you did with Mick Jagger in 1988? That was special to you, wasn't it?
Some of the most fantastic memories I have in life - and it actually pretty much may have saved my career. Talk about a random event you'd never expect to happen. I was on my very first solo tour figuring out how to play 'Surfing With the Alien' in front of an audience. We were losing lots of money as well, about eight grand a week playing two club shows a night. I was all but done. So I was going to scrap the tour and just go figure something else out. Then I get a call about an audition for a Mick Jagger solo tour. I end up getting the job, then BAM - all of a sudden i went from all but total obscurity into a hyper world with a red carpet in front of me at all times. It was insane.
How did that help your solo career?
It was Mick. See, not only was he the total rockstar I always dreamed he would be - but he was also funny, unpredictable, incredibly cool, open, and one of the most generous people I'd ever met. He said to me, 'my staff is your staff - use all of my resources to help promote your record while we tour. Use this private room for interviews - use these people to help you.' Then he gave me a big solo spot in the show. He was totally selfless and completely excited to help me with MY success as a solo artist. He would tell me all the time -you've gotta go all the way - you've got to take advantage of whatever you can and most importantly, connect with the audience. I just learned so much from Mick Jagger and he really allowed me to establish myself as a solo artist.
What's the most important thing you learned from Mick Jagger?
Being on stage with him every night, I never failed to appreciate that this is a guy who always is trying harder than all of us to make a great show for the audience. We had an 11-piece band - so if someone wanted to kick back and relax a bit, it'd be easy to cover. But then Mick would run past you, giving 100%, 100% of the time, and you'd realize, if he's doing it, we all have to do it. He would drag me into the spotlight with him so different parts of the audience could really see me. He loves his audience so much, and is so focused on pleasing them - that's what I think I was the important thing he taught me - appreciating those who come and see you play - and working your hardest to please them.
Are you still in touch with Mick?
Whenever the Stones play in the Bay area I go backstage to say hi. And you know what? I have loved them since I was a little kid, and so I still get star struck around them.