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John Petrucci: One of My Biggest Guitar Heroes Told Me to "Turn It Down"

(Image credit: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Awhile back, Dream Theater's John Petrucci recounted the moment one of his top guitar heroes—Steve Howe of Yes and Asia fame—told him to "turn it down."

"We played a show in London at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club [in 1995], a little special gig," Petrucci told Cosmo Music. "[It was] all covers; we had guests come, and it ended up on [Dream Theater's 1995] EP, A Change of Seasons.

"One of the guests was Steve Howe, and we were doing a Yes [medley] thing. So we're rehearsing, [and] he came down. I'm such a huge fan of Steve Howe, I worship him. I had my Mesa Boogie set up, he comes in and says [imitating Howe's voice], 'Do you mind turning it down a bit?' [Laughs].

"Steve Howe told me to turn it down! Awesome!"

In the top clip below, you can see the performance of Yes' "Starship Trooper" by Dream Theater with Howe. Below that, you'll find an audio clip of the complete Yes medley that was performed that night.

"Starship Trooper," which was written by Howe, Jon Anderson and Chris Squire, originally appeared on 1971's The Yes Album.

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Damian Fanelli
Editor-in-Chief, Guitar World

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas (opens in new tab), was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron (opens in new tab), a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums (opens in new tab). He now plays in two NYC-area bands.