Digital Playlist: John Petrucci

Who: John Petrucci, guitarist and founding member of Dream Theater.
What: The three guitar solos rocking his world.
Where: New York.
Latest Album: Dream Theater.

John Petrucci lets rip. (Image courtesy of Dream

John Petrucci lets rip.
(Image courtesy of Dream

1. STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN and DOUBLE TROUBLE “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” — “My favorite thing is something I heard later on. When I heard Stevie Ray Vaughn and ‘Voodoo Child’ — like everybody I was so familiar with the Hendrix version, which is amazing — but when I heard Stevie Ray Vaughn come over the radio, it reached out and grabbed me. I felt like he was playing to me. It was cool because I hadn’t really gotten that much into blues, and that was the thing that pulled me in. The great attitude and conviction that Stevie Ray had in his playing — being reckless and being so, so great and so expressive and playing with so much attitude — it ended up being a song that I would jam to all the time as I was playing guitar as a teenager and later on. We ended up playing it on G3, so I was there with Satriani and Steve Vai playing ‘Voodoo Child’. It all came full circle!”

2. PINK FLOYD “Comfortably Numb” — “David Gilmour playing that solo at the end of the song is just one of those unbelievable moments where he connected to the song. It’s a solo that takes a song out, which we do in Dream Theater a lot. The guitar solo is the last thing in the song, so you have that responsibility of making a strong musical moment to carry that song through into the sunset, and he does that in this beautiful, melodic way. It’s the perfectly built solo and the perfect example of beautiful phrasing with some bluesy elements but incredibly melodic. If you see Pink Floyd live, you could sing the entire solo. It’s unbelievable.”

3. RUSH “La Villa Strangiato” — “A memorable one for me is the first time I saw Rush out here on Long Island, and they played ‘La Villa Strangiato’. It’s the solo breakdown where the whole band just comes down and does this vamp, and Alex plays this solo that starts out really slow, slinky and bluesy and builds to this unbelievable frenzy. I literally thought my head would pop off my body when I was watching it. As I’m talking to you, I can still picture myself there however old I was, I think it was on the Signals tour, and watching that and not being able to wrap my head around how anybody could do that on the guitar. That was an amazing moment to see.”

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