Guitar virtuoso Guthrie Govan has commented on Deep Purple legend Ritchie Blackmore calling Joe Satriani’s playing “too polished,” telling Music Radar during a recent interview:
“It amuses me that someone from that generation looks for the fastest, most technically proficient player so they can pick on him.
“And they always go for Joe Satriani: ‘Leaves me cold,’ etc. And he’s the worst possible target because he’s such a melodically aware player. Let’s give Joe a break: he’s a real musician, he’s a real guitar player; he has a voice of his own and it’s very human.
“But it puzzles me when people have to dismiss something largely because they can’t do it, especially when back in the day they would have lapped up the air of mystery around them because they could do what most other guitar players couldn’t, and maybe they miss that now.”
During the rest of the conversation, Govan pointed out that the qualities that make a great musician can vary, saying:
“I don’t think there’s a simple answer to that. I think everyone has their own unique skill set. For instance, Noel Gallagher is a successful musician; he’s made a lot of people happy. His sweep picking, I assume, is terrible. But he doesn’t need it.
“He has his vision of what he wants to be as a musician; and for him it’s all about, ‘What can I do with these same few chords that everyone else knows, in a way that sounds familiar but just fresh enough that it brings joy to many listeners?’ And good luck to him.”