One Song That Joe Satriani Doesn’t Want to Perform Live: ‘There Was Silence When We Ended the Song, You Could Hear a Pin Drop’

During a recent interview on the Tales from the Road show, Joe Satriani remembered a song that he refuses to play live, reports Ultimate Guitar. In fact, he even called the piece “truly cursed” although “in a funny way.” Joe wrote the song back in the late 1980s while he was touring with The Rolling Stones’ frontman Mick Jagger. As he explained, “everything was top of the line” and this one time, he was in a “beautiful hotel suite.”

“I go back into my room at the end of the night, and I turn on the television,” the musician remembered. “There was this program about people starving, children not having enough to eat or drink, and I just thought, ‘This is weird.’ How could I be living this life and those people are living that life? We’re all on the same planet, and it just didn’t make any sense to me.”

“And so I wrote the song ‘The Forgotten’ about that, about this oddness of life that these two things could be happening at the same time. During the recording of that song, it was really hard to get through the song. Because we would listen to it, and after about an hour, we would all be bummed out and we’d have to stop and play something a little bit more upbeat for a while.”

“When we got to work on the song, everybody’s mood would go down. But, when the fans heard it, of course, they just thought it was a beautiful song that had a special mood to it.”

He also explains how “the guys in the band really wanted to do that song.” Joe then added:

“So, the last time we played it, we were on a short tour with Steve Miller. Steven is a wonderful person, a really great guy, very upbeat. He plays very happy music. So there we are playing in this arena in Reno, Nevada, and it’s on the setlist, this song, ‘The Forgotten,’ And I remember thinking, ‘This is going to be a mistake, I know, but I’m going to try it anyway.'”

“The audience really loved us up until that point. And we start playing the song, and just a minute after minute, the whole feeling of this thing just sunk and sunk. [laughs] Until finally there was silence when we ended the song, you could hear a pin drop. And I thought, ‘I knew this was a bad idea.’ This is a song that just doesn’t work live, especially when you’re opening for Steve Miller.”

“Anyway, I swear Steve Miller must have figured it out because we decided to do ‘Big Bad Moon’ next, and Steve came out unannounced and played the song with us. But he didn’t really learn the song, so the song was just a train wreck because he just was playing whatever. [laughs]”

“At the end of that night, everyone said, ‘Okay, okay, we’ll never play that song again.’ Obviously, that song just sort of destroys everything in its path, but I don’t know, never say never, right?”

“The Forgotten” is a two-part instrumental from Joe Satriani’s critically acclaimed 1989 album “Flying in a Blue Dream.” Among his fans and guitar players, the piece is popular for the clean guitar tapping in its first section. You can listen to the song below.

Joe Satriani - The Forgotten (Part 1 & 2)

Photo: Wikimedia Commons


  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor.