Guitar virtuoso & artist Joe Satriani has a long-standing history with hard rock and metal. Not only has he played on Alice Cooper and Spinal Tap (yup) albums, he’s actually taught guitar to some of the most badass metal guitar players of all time, like some guy you’ve probably never heard of named Kirk Hammett, to Larry LaLonde (Primus and Possessed), Alex Skolnick (Testament) and Rick Hunolt (ex-Exodus). Recently, the fine folks at Ultimate Guitar brought to our attention that – once upon a time- Mr. Satriani felt very wronged by a very massive and very not-metal band that goes by the name of Coldplay. Ever heard of ’em?
According to UG, Joe sued Coldplay and Capitol Records back in 2008 because he strongly believed that his song “If I Could Fly” from the album Is There Love In Space was way too similar to Coldplay’s very popular song, “Viva La Vida.”
Per an interview with MusicRadar, Joe Satriani had this to say about it all:
“I felt like a dagger went right through my heart. It hurt so much. The second I heard it, I knew it was ‘If I Could Fly’.”
“Almost immediately, from the minute their song came out, my e-mail box flooded with people going, ‘Have you heard this song by Coldplay? They ripped you off, man.’ I mean, I couldn’t tell you how many e-mails I received.”
“I did everything I could to avoid a court case with this situation. But Coldplay didn’t want to talk about it. They just wanted this whole thing to go away. Maybe they figured this little guitar player guy will leave them alone after a while, I don’t know.”
While details are sparse and likely locked away forever in the secret vault of rock history, it seems that Joe, Coldplay and Capitol must’ve reached some sort of out of court settlement in the years since.
So, what say you, Pit sleuths? Both songs are side by side below. Was Mr. Satriani indeed wronged, here?
Words by: The Pit staff
Coldplay is a Warner Music artist. The Pit is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.