However, even among guitar heroes Joe Satriani stood out as a king among kings. His effortless technical prowess, use of multiple styles and abilities as a teacher made him a living legend in the hard rock scene of the 1980's. Surprisingly, a combination of great musicianship, good timing, and a bit of good luck led to some commercial success, in spite of the fact that his work was entirely instrumental.
Satriani was born on Long Island and gained local notoriety as a player and teacher. In the late 1970's he moved to California to pursue a career in music, which eventually led to a gig in the Greg Kihn Band (seriously!) After former student Steve Vai joined David Lee Roth's solo band, Satriani became better-known, and he eventually released his second solo LP in 1987.
Surfing With the Alien became a surprise hit that same year, reaching #29 on the charts, and the title cut and "Satch Boogie" both hit the Mainstream Rock Charts, due to FM radio play. The video for "Satch Boogie" is relatively basic, but this is definitely a 'let the music do the talking' sort of song.
Joe Satriani's commercial success faded somewhat in the 1990's, be he remains a working musician, and seems to enjoy performing with other guitarists. (For example, G3, a working group that originally comprised Satriani, Steve Vai, and Eric Johnson has continued in various versions to the present day).
Cool trivia fact: Satch is Joe Satriani's nickname.