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Joe Satriani: Mick Jagger ‘Pretty Much Saved My Career’

Frazer Harrison / Rosie Greenway, Getty Images

Back in 1988, Joe Satriani was losing $8,000 a week on his failing tour to promote ‘Surfing With the Alien,’ and it got so bad that he was even considering putting down his guitar for good. That’s when he got some help from a most unlikely benefactor: Mick Jagger.

The legendary guitarist recently told Noisecreep that almost 25 years ago, Jagger “pretty much may have saved my career” in a “random event you’d never expect to happen.”

Satriani recalls the dark days during his ‘Surfing With the Alien’ tour, saying, “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 while his playing earned him a spot in Jagger’s band, Satriani says the iconic Rolling Stones frontman was also exceedingly kind:

“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.”

These days, Satriani is enjoying his time with supergroup Chickenfoot, although that gig, too, was an unexpectedly nice twist of fate.

“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,” he said. “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,” he adds. “That’s what I think about Chickenfoot. We just have so much fun.”

Chickenfoot — which also includes other rock luminaries like Sammy Hagar and former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony — kicks off their US tour May 4 in Lake Tahoe, Nev.

Watch Joe and Mick Perform Together in 1988

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