The acclaimed guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani first established himself on the San Francisco music scene during the early 1980s. Satriani became one of the most recognized guitar teachers in the area, inspiring pupils such as Kirk Hammett (later of Metallica), Larry LaLonde (later of Primus) and Steve Vai (now an acclaimed solo guitarist in his own right).
Satriani did not begin recording until 1984, when he released a now out-of-print self-titled EP. Signing to Relativity, in 1986 he released his full-length solo debut Not of This Earth, a set of tracks that highlighted the young guitarist's amazing technical ability with complex hard rock instrumental epics. Satriani's popularity expanded with his 1987 follow-up, Surfing with the Alien, one of the few all-instrumental albums to ever reach the Top 40. Satriani became known as a "guitar player's guitar player," influencing countless hobbyists and professionals with his innovative style and sure-fingered playing.