How Jagger Saved Satch’s career
Guitar icon Joe reveals he was broke and ready to quit when “selfless” Stones star hired him for solo tour and turned everything around.
Joe Satriani was ready to abandon the music industry when Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger hired him.
The guitar virtuoso was losing $8,000 a week on a failing tour in 1988 as he struggled to promote his album Surfing With The Alien – then Jagger added him to his touring band. The six-stringer has never looked back from there.
Satriani, now with supergroup Chickenfoot, tells Noisecreep: “They’re 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.
“I was going to scrap the tour and just go figure something else out. Then I got a call about an audition for a Mick Jagger solo tour. I got the job and bam – all of a sudden I went from all but total obscurity into a hyperworld with a red carpet in front of me at all times.”
But Jagger’s help went further: “Not only was he the total rock star I always dreamed he would be, 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 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. I just learned so much and he really allowed me to establish myself as a solo artist.”
Satriani is much more familiar with random twists of fate now, and he cites Chickenfoot, also starring Sammy Hagar, Michael Anthony and Chad Smith, as another example.
He says: “I can plan and dream 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?
“You can plan, and 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 – and it becomes a dream gig. That’s what I think about Chickenfoot. We just have so much fun.”