The guitarist who turned down Mick Jagger

The Rolling Stones have been the quintessential image of what a fierce rock and roll band should look like since the 1960s. While they may have made their living performing blues classics in their early years, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards went on to become one of the finest songwriting teams in music history, creating magical melodies together. Even though every successful creative partnership requires some time apart, one guitarist thought it was impossible to replace the riff master with Jagger.

However, whether they liked it or not, anyone who was going to accompany Mick Jagger on guitar would unavoidably be compared to Richards. Even though Brian Jones started the group, Richards was the one who produced one iconic riff after another, forcing subsequent guitar players to match his discography.

However, The Stones had begun to take slightly distinct turns by the time they hit the 1980s. Keef was happy to continue performing the gritty rock & roll he had played his whole life, but Jagger wanted to explore new musical ground, some of which were incompatible with The Stones’ distinctive sound.

Instead of splitting up, the band members spent a large portion of the decade putting the group on hiatus to focus on their endeavors. For his solo act, Jagger would bring in some of the world’s most proficient guitarists, even if they would periodically rejoin him for albums like Dirty Work.

Guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani was invited to perform with the rock superstar while he was assembling the band for his solo gigs. While most would give a kidney to have a good jam session with the vocalist of The Stones, Satriani remembered that he didn’t think he was the proper candidate to take Keef’s place.

When talking about his time spent working with Jagger, Satriani recalled how awkward it was for him to try to add enchantment to rock classics, adding, “When I hit the national or the worldwide scene, I was playing with Mick Jagger, and I was not the right guy for the gig, at least I thought. You know, I don’t again, I had already disengaged from trying to copy those kinds of players.”

Even though Satriani would subsequently assert that he had the highest regard for The Stones’ accomplishments, he felt much more at home creating his kind of instrumental music. It makes sense that Satriani would wish to forge his artistic path after hearing some of his solo work.

The guitarist shows off his mastery of the instrument on albums such as Surfing with the Alien. He can produce unusual sounds using feedback and perform incredible tapping licks on songs like “Midnight” that nobody would have imagined were possible. But it wouldn’t take long for Jagger to join The Stones again.

Despite the potential notoriety that working with Mick Jagger may have brought him, Satriani went on to become a dominant figure in the guitar world, shaping the instrument in a manner that very few people can. No matter how much money Satriani made from performing at those enormous concerts, his imaginative voice was always meant for something far more than just imitating Keef’s sounds.

Satriani would go on to become a major figure in the guitar scene, shaping the instrument in a manner that few others can equal, even with all of the notoriety that working with Mick Jagger may have brought him. Satriani’s imaginative voice was always meant for something far greater than imitating Keef’s sounds, regardless of how much money he may have made from performing those enormous performances.



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