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As he returns with a brand new solo album, shred icon Joe Satriani sits down with JOE BOSSO to discuss the five pieces of guitar gear that he needs to get through the day…

Joe Satriani

It would be entirely accurate to call guitar legend Joe Satriani a gearhead – the studio in his Northern California home is a veritable music store full of axes, amps and effects of all kinds. But while Satch is the proud possessor of a wealth of vintage equipment, he draws the line at the notion that he’s a purist.

“Being a purist always kind of confounded me,” he says. “In some ways, when you say you’re a ‘purist’, it’s another way of limiting yourself to the possibilities that are out there. It’s like saying, ‘I’m not going to listen to something that’s past the year 1958’ or something.

“And people can be much the same way about gear,” he continues. There’s that mentality, ‘if it’s not vintage, I won’t play it’, which is kind of ridiculous, really. Because when you think about it, the people who made music in say, 1958, they were using stuff that was brand new. It was cutting edge for its time. Or even Hendrix. When he went to Manny’s in New York, he bought himself brand-new Stratocasters. He was buying guitars that were of that time, and he created history with them.”

Satch had something of a gear epiphany back in the late ‘70s when he moved to San Francisco and started teaching guitar at a music shop called Secondhand Guitars, which as the name suggests, was favoured by connoisseurs of vintage axes. “These customers would come in and they were only interested in things like 50s Strats and Les Pauls,” he recalls. “I would play these guitars and sort of catalogue my impressions about what they were good for. I’d pick up a Broadcaster and go, ‘Oh, that’s why these guys like this for chicken picking.’”

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About Guitar Magazine

The March 2018 issue of The Guitar Magazine is on sale now, featuring Fender’s brand new 2018 flagships and a with free Taylor Guitars supplement for every reader! This month inside the UK’s best-loved and most affordable guitar magazine, we get to grips with Fender’s brand new for 2018 American Originals guitars in a UK exclusive first review. Find out if Fender’s reimagined golden era electrics will need to be on your must try list inside, and chose from our two special collector’s edition covers - will you pick Strat or Tele, or get the set? As if that wasn’t enough of a big deal, the March issue also comes with a free 24-page magazine dedicated to Taylor Guitar’s brand new V-Class bracing system – a hugely innovative way of making acoustic guitars that made serious waves when it was launched at last month’s NAMM show. Inside, we sat down with Taylor design guru Andy Powers to find out just what makes the new bracing system so remarkable, and got our hands on one of the first V-Class guitars Powers has built for an in-depth review. But we’re not all about shiny new gear here at The Guitar Magazine, and we’ve got plenty in store for vintage fanatics inside, too. For starters, we had the rare privilege of getting up close with a £230,000 1960 Gibson Les Paul Standard in Vintage Bench Test, while we also spent some time with a gorgeous 1963 ES-335 made famous in the hands of Sweet guitarist Andy Scott. If vintage guitar speculation is more your game, however, then take a trip with Huw Price to Paris as he wanders through the incredible vintage guitar shops of the City of Love’s ‘Music Village’ area - you might want to book a trip yourself. For all that and much more - including new gear from the likes of Vigier, Rivolta, Swart, Danelectro, Joe Satriani’s essential gear and the latest in our DIY Martin acoustic build project – pick up your print or digital copy of the March 2018 edition of The Guitar Magazine today.