During a recent conversation with Meltdown of Detroit’s WRIF radio station, legendary guitarist Joe Satriani has shared his thoughts on what it was like to teach some guitar techniques for Metallica’s Kirk Hammett and Testament’s Alex Skolnick.
When asked if any of his students would become ‘monster players’ in the metal music industry, Satriani recalled his teaching days in the early ’80s and said that he predicted that they would change the world.
Here’s what Joe Satriani stated:
“I did. It’s funny that you should ask me that, because I remember going back to rehearsals in the early ’80s and telling my other guys, I said, ‘There are these kids I’m teaching during the daytime, and they are gonna change the world.’
And I played them something, and they would all look at me, like, ‘No one is ever gonna listen to that. That will never be on the radio. They’ll never get past playing community centers and Sundays at the park.’
And I’m, like, ‘Are you guys crazy?’ ‘Cause when I would sit across from guys like Alex Skolnick or Kirk Hammett, I could tell that they were turning into geniuses, they were turning into super talents, and I didn’t see anything standing in their way. But I couldn’t convince my older friends that it was happening.”
“I think perhaps they were resistant to it ’cause it wasn’t their style; maybe they were threatened or something. But because I was a teacher, I wasn’t threatened. As a matter of fact, I was the big cheerleader; I was the one who was saying, ‘C’mon, let’s do it.’
I knew they could do it. It never entered my mind that they would not be able to achieve what they wanted to do. They had the three important things: they had the physical talent, they had the intellect — they were smart — and they had the heart; their heart was in the right place.
They really were great students; they practiced hard; they knew what they wanted; they wanted to change the world, and they just had that right amount of anger [laughs] at the older generation that’s so necessary when you’re that young. And they wanted to change the world, and they did. So, yeah — that’s great.”
Click here for the source of the statement.