During a conversation with Ryan J. Downey, Joe Satriani was asked on how he advised his student Kirk Hammett when he asked him for help with solos for Metallica’s 1983 debut “Kill ‘Em All.”
The guitarist said:
“The key was, it wasn’t my job to make the decisions. I was already too old. I was in my 20s, so I was too old, you know, it was over for me.
“You see it when there’s a 14-year-old who is inventing a new genre, and so I had to just step back a little bit.
“And you have to imagine that, Kirk’s mother’s coming in, dropping him off when [Primus guitarist] Larry LaLonde’s taking lessons, his girlfriend and his girlfriend’s mother are sitting in the other room – the girlfriend’s doing homework, and the mother is the manager of the band Possessed [the early-’80s death metal group in which Larry played].
“So it’s kind of a family atmosphere – a friendly atmosphere. There’s no tuition, there are no dorms, these people have real lives going on, but they just happen to be on the cusp of this new movement.”
Remembering his very first student, Joe said:
“As a teacher, I was so lucky. It sounds funny to think that I’m just in my house doing nothing – or I should say, my parents’ house – I’m just an idiot teenager.
“And some other little kid knocks on the door with a pack of strings in one hand and a stringless guitar in the other and he says, ‘We saw you play at the high school dance, can you teach me how to play guitar?’.
“And I was like, ‘Ah, you ugly little kid, get in here, sit down over there.’ It just happened to be Steve Vai, back when he was shorter than me, you know?” - MetalWani