Joe Satriani - lead guitar; Randy Jackson - bass; Denny Carmassi - drums; Jeff Campitelli - percussion; Doug Doppler - rhythm guitar
From the first public Mime Troupe events in 1965, to his untimely death in 1991, Bill Graham set the standard for excellence in concert presentations and in doing so, redefined the art of communication for an entire generation. To honor Bill Graham, Steve Kahn, and Melissa Gold, the BGP staff organized a free concert in Golden Gate Park for Sunday, November 3. Mother Nature cooperated and provided a comfortable and cloudless day as 300,000 people gathered in the Polo Field of Golden Gate Park.
Although the Grateful Dead were expected to make an appearance, the list of performers was kept well under wraps and few had any idea who exactly would be performing. It didn't seem to matter though, as the feeling that permeated the crowd was one of quiet reflection. It was to be a peaceful day in beautiful surroundings with plenty of friends and live music.
This concert marked the end of an era, but also memorialized Bill Graham in a manner that was fitting -- a free concert in the heart of where it all started. The sad circumstances aside, this was truly a celebration of Graham's life and as the poster for this event noted, it was to be a day filled with Laughter, Love, and Music.
With the words "Time to get electric!," Jerry Pompili introduces guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani to the stage. Accompanied by the friends assembled for this special performance, Satriani opens with the appropriately titled, "Always With Me, Always With You." This mournful, yet celebratory instrumental, features Satriani's usual soaring guitar work, but here sounding more spiritual and introspective than his usual fare.
After introducing his band members, which include Randy Jackson (now well known for his seat as an American Idol judge) on bass, and drummer, Denny Carmassi, as his rhythm section, the group launches into "The Crush of Love," a pummeling instrumental workout, again featuring extraordinary guitar work from Satriani, while raising the bar for all the performers yet to come.