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'It's Unfortunate': Joe Satriani Responds to Ritchie Blackmore Comments

(Image credit: Joseph Cutlice)

Last week, audio of an interview with former Deep Purple and current Rainbow guitarist Ritchie Blackmore surfaced on YouTube.

Notably, the clip featured Blackmore opining on his successors in Deep Purple, Joe Satriani and Steve Morse. Though he said that Morse and Satriani were both "brilliant players," he also critiqued their respective playing styles, saying—among other comments—"If you're always playing the correct notes, there's something wrong—you're not searching, you're not reaching for anything."

To put it rather lightly, the interview caused an uproar, provoking thousands (yes, thousands) of comments from GW readers on our Facebook page and, evidently, reaching the ears of Satriani himself.

During an interview on Rock Talk with Mitch Lafon, Satriani was asked about Blackmore's comments.

"Well, it's unfortunate when somebody that you look up to has something negative to say about you," Satriani said in the interview. "So that part will always hurt. I wouldn't hide my feelings about that."

"I get criticized on both sides of the fence for the opposite offenses," Satriani continued. "And I don't quite understand it other than most of the time, when someone has criticism, it's because they're challenged and they feel that they have to strike out. So I get it—I understand why he would have to say something negative. I can kind of laugh at it, because I'm not like that myself. I tend to just look at the positive of another musician and focus on that."

You can listen to the full interview below. Satriani's portion of the interview starts at 1:09:00, and the comments above start at 1:29:30. Blackmore's full comments can be read here.

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Jackson Maxwell
Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player (opens in new tab). Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder (opens in new tab) and Unrecorded (opens in new tab). Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.