The Fabulous Tale Of The Billy Gibbons Pearly Gates Pickle Jar At Seymour Duncan

IMG_9676The Pearly Gates is one of my favourite Seymour Duncan pickups. Designed with Billy Gibbons, its voice is vintage and sweet but with a slight edge to it. (Joe Satriani liked this pickup so much that he had them installed in one of his chrome Ibanez JS signature guitars and named it ‘Pearly’ – unfortunately that guitar was stolen in 2002). Many years ago, Billy asked Seymour if a pickup could work under water. They decided to try it by submerging a very early Pearly Gates pickup into a pickle jar and testing it to see if it still had a signal. It still worked – so they decided to put a lid on the jar and test it again some other time. That was almost 30 years ago. It lives in Seymour’s office and he and Billy still take the jar out every now and then to test the pickup. It looks pretty damn gnarly by now, covered in gross brown stuff, but it still works perfectly. Below are some pics of MJ from the Seymour Duncan Custom Shop testing the pickup a couple of weeks ago when I was at Seymour Duncan HQ.  Read More …

Joe Satriani: The Complete Studio Recordings

vrq3_SatrianiProductShot640x402When you really step back and look at it, Joe Satriani’s musical output thus far has been utterly immense. Of course there’s the incredible one-two punch of Surfing With The Alien and Flying In A Blue Dream, but Joe’s discography is bursting at the seams with great tracks, bold experiments, wild solos and catchy riffs. And now you’ll be able to get them all in one place, with Sony Music Entertainment about to release Joe Satriani: The Complete Studio Recordings, a 15-CD box set which includes not just Joe’s studio albums but also a disc of bonus tracks. Oh and before we get to the press release below, lemmie just drop this video here… heheh.

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Am I Jealous Of Steve Vai?

steve-vai-to-tour-australia-in-july-1-300x225Last week the magnificent Steve Vai played here in Melbourne (read my recent interview with Steve here). I was lucky enough to be offered some free tickets so I invited my old school buddy and his friend, as well as a guy I know who’s had a bit of a hard time recently and who I thought might enjoy the chance to take him mind off it with a gig. Like all Vai gigs it was a wildly diverse experience: blinding virtuosity, humour, melody, showmanship, and all-round good vibes. And I got to meet quite a few I Heart Guitar readers before and after the show, which was really cool. But something my buddy said afterwards really jarred me. Nodding back towards the venue, he asked, in an almost protective tone: Read More …

Rockschool Introduces New Hot Rock Guitar Books

RockschoolPRESS RELEASE: Rockschool’s best selling Hot Rock Guitar series has just been expanded with the launch of the new Grades 4 and 5 books. The acclaimed Hot Rock range brings you eight classic tracks in a variety of music genres giving you a choice of musical styles to play. The new books include songs from some of the most respected, best selling and famous bands on the planet and are an excellent tool for the ‘Free Choice Pieces’ in graded exams. Each massive new book comes complete with edited exam versions of eight classic rock songs drawn from a range of musical styles. Read More …

Joe Satriani talks Unstoppable Momentum

Unstoppable MomentumJoe Satriani’s new album, Unstoppable Momentum, is out now, and it stands as a fresh, kick-in-the-pants reboot of Satch music as we know it. There’s some of the restraint and enhanced focus on phrasing of his last few albums as well as the brash humanity of The Extremist, the fun of Chickenfoot and even some of that clash-of-adventurousness-and-directness that made Surfing With The Alien and Flying In A Blue Dream so memorable. Joe’s band on the album is Mike Keneally (keys), Vinnie Colaiuta (drums) and Chris Chaney (bass), and together these four guys really bring the material to life. Frankly, it’s kickass. Check out this video of Joe talking about the process of making the album. Read More …

My Jam With Joe Satriani

Peter and JoeWe’re in the past. I’m about 15 years old. I’m sitting on my bed trying to nail that incredible solo from Joe Satriani’s Crushing Day. I’m getting pissed off. This is hard. Try it again. Argh! Hit a clanger about a quarter of the way in. Start again. Frig. Only got two bars in that time and hit a bad harmonic. Argh. Aaaarrgh! Argh.

My dad walks in.

“What the hell is going on?”

“I’m trying to learn this Joe Satriani solo but it’s impossible!”

“Impossible?”

“Yeah.” Read More …

New Joe Satriani video: ‘A Door Into Summer’

Unstoppable MomentumJoe Satriani is about to release his new album, Unstoppable Momentum, on May 7. Preorder it here! It features Vinnie Colaiuta on drums, Mike Keneally on keys and Chris Chaney on bass. Oh and his live band will feature Keneally as well as Bryan Beller on bass and Marco Minnemann on drums, which is an utterly killer line-up. I’ve heard Joe’s new album and without giving too much away let me just say that it continues along the vein of his last few but with a really engaging, human feel thanks to the talents of misters Colaiuta, Keneally and Chaney. Think The Extremist but with more push and pull from the rhythm section. The first single, A Door Into Summer, offers a bit of an indication of what to expect but it certainly doesn’t tell the whole story. Check it out below! Read More …

REVIEW: Marshall JVM410HJS Joe Satriani amp

JVM410HJSB

Joe Satriani needs his amps to cover a lot of ground during the course of a single gig, from vintage bluesy sweetness to chunky rock to screaming harmonically overstimulated lead. For years he’s (generally) used clean amps and distortion pedals for his tone, but when it came time to lay down some riffage with his supergroup Chickenfoot, Joe realised only Marshall would do. So they worked together on an amp based on the JVM410. Let’s let Joe explain: “It’s got four channels and three modes per channel, and we just set the thing up in the control room when we were doing overdubs (for Chickenfoot III) and we went from channel to channel, and I think the only time we used a different amp was when we plugged in a ’59 Fender Twin amp to add a little something to a ballad. Everything else was done through that amp. I never felt like I wasn’t punching enough or I never had enough gain or I wasn’t clean enough. It’s really an outstanding amp.” Read More …