Posted by: zhak39 | December 8, 2008


So I wasn’t going to do this. I figured the You Tube video which went platinum over the weekend pretty much said it all. Joe Satriani was ripped off by Cold Play. In play are the recent hit by Cold Play called Vida la Vida and Joe Satriani’s 2004 work If I Could Fly.

Well the report on NPR this afternoon was so lukewarm, the music ‘expert’ such a wienie, I had to weigh in. According to Timothy English, music critic and author of Sounds Like Teen Spirit (is that supposed to be clever?) the two tunes are a bit similar but one is instrumental and the other is mainstream pop. Guess it doesn’t count then. What really bugged me about the NPR report was the statement, “Coldplay’s CD Viva La Vida is a number-one-selling album in 36 countries and a Grammy Award nominee, while Satriani’s song never made it big.”

Anyone that knows rock guitar knows Joe Satriani. His every move is not splashed across the check out aisle. With his shiny head and wide grin, he’s not exactly a tweener heart throb. He’s a guitarist’s guitarist as demonstrated by the list of his students which includes Kirk Hammett (Metallica), David Bryson (Counting Crows) and Kevin Cadogan (Third Eye Blind). He doesn’t rely on pop music, mainstream recognition or sappy lyrics. He writes and plays sonic electric guitar with essence from jazz mastery translated through rock techniques like legato, tapping, sweep picking and harmonics.

A friend gave me a cassette tape (yes, I am that old) of Surfing with the Alien in 1987. This was when he still had hair. Here’s one of my favorites from that time. Always with me, always with you, I used to dance to this before going to sleep at night.

Here’s where you get to decide for yourself. Is it as English suggests, this is just a factor of rock being so old a genre that it’s all been done already?

Ha. That was fast. You don’t get to decide for yourself. Just as well. Instead of listening to Cold Play, search Satriani. He has a fun website and lots of videos available. He recently finished a tour. Maybe you can catch him live when he hits the road again.

This seems like a no win for Cold Play. Either they have to admit that they are musically ignorant and never heard Satriani’s work or they admit they ripped him off and made a bunch of money. What do you think?

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