Joe Satriani | Andy Milton | Jeff Campitelli
"It’s great listening to great musicians and figuring out what their roots were and where it led them. Whether it’s Jeff Beck in the Yardbirds or George Benson playing on Miles Davis or Sinatra records, you get a little glimpse of where these musical giants can potentially and ultimately go given the right circumstances. On Joe Satriani’s 1980 release with the Squares, you can definitely hear that there’s something special going on with the guitar player, even though the band has a new wave, power-pop flavor."
- PHIL COLLEN (Def Leppard)
"It’s great to hear Joe Satriani playing in an era when rock bands owned their own P.A. systems, played four sets a night, and snuck in their “originals” between Bad Company covers. The Squares were good enough where maybe they didn’t have to go this exact route...the melodic vocals and well-written songs here make it worth a trip back to this era. It also becomes apparent very quickly that there is a star in the band, and he is playing the electric guitar."
- PAUL GILBERT (Mr. Big)
"Unbelievable! I swear to God, I think this is great. This could come out today!"
- SAMMY HAGAR
"Joe's guitar playing on these tracks is perfectly arranged, raw and visceral, with impeccable intonation and tone, exquisite phrasing, and fierce chops… all with no whammy bar or wha-wha! This record is a jewel for all Satch lovers, and a peek into the past of one of our beloved guitar geniuses."
- STEVE VAI
"Wow! This is way too cool! I feel like I’m getting a glimpse into Joe’s past with these...the songs are really taking me back to the music scene of the early 80’s. It’s really great to hear all the Satch-isms and insane guitar solos infused into these pop-punk tunes. Joe has such a unique voice on the instrument and his tone is undeniable, no matter who he’s playing with!"
- JOHN PETRUCCI (Dream Theater)
"Thanks Joe for sharing a look back into your musical beginnings. I’m sure that I speak for all us steel benders, we wouldn’t have expected anything but greatness from you."
- NEIL GIRALDO (Pat Benatar)
"In Berkeley, CA, back in the late '70's my then brother-in-law Neil Sheehan and I decided to start a band. It would be a power-pop trio with me on guitar and Neil managing and writing lyrics. We sought out a drummer and a frontman/bassist, and in December of '79 we found them playing on the local bay area scene.
Our lead vocalist/bassist Andy Milton was from Cleveland, Ohio. He was 6ft. tall, good looking and had a voice like a modern day Elvis. Our drummer Jeff Campitelli was fresh out of high school. A local phenom who could groove like Charlie Watts, but with a new ferocious energy that would help propel the band into the burgeoning New Wave music scene.
We called ourselves "The Squares", or sometimes just "Squares". There were other bands with the same name but we were determined to get to home base first and claim the name. That never happened. We were part Van Halen and part Everly Brothers. A mix of heavy metal, rock n' roll, punk, and new wave. We were hard to pin down and categorize, which is most likely why we never "made it" !
But, as we were trying our best to get a record deal and become superstars, we had a lot of good times, and we laid down some seriously good music. We were ahead of our time, which, in this case, is another way of saying we were out of step with what people were looking for back then.
Ultimately, I left the band I started to pursue a solo career. It was gut-wrenching to walk away from something I put all my heart and soul into, but, as it turned out it was the right thing to do.
What remains are the original early '80's demos recorded and mixed by our then live sound engineer John Cuniberti. We've restored the original recordings, brought them into the digital world, and with loving hands and ears John has remixed the best of what we did in the studio. They sound better than ever. John was careful to preserve the band's original intent with regards to song arrangements, sound and vibe, and in some cases, extremely creative mix ideas.
"GIVE IT UP" starts with the sound of my two Marshall half stacks, cranked up at Hyde Street’s famous Studio C, where years later I would later record 'Surfing With The Alien'. "Give It Up" is a perfect example of what we thought at the time was the perfect blend of rock, punk and new wave.
"SO USED UP" is one of the more unusual and progressive Squares songs, with lyrics that are a bit darker than our usual upbeat message. I still find the guitar arrangement unique and intriguing, and it’s one of my favorites to play.
"I LOVE HOW YOU LOVE ME" was our encore song. It was lead vocalist Andy Milton’s idea to do this song. He sang it straight while Jeff and I rocked it out fast and hard.
Turn it up and enjoy The Squares!"
- JOE SATRIANI