Super virtuoso guitarist John Petrucci is celebrating his birthday today, and we want to tell you 52 interesting facts about him:
1. He was born on July 12, 1967, in Long Island New York, named John Peter Petrucci.
2. At the age of 8 he started playing the guitar after seeing that his parents allowed his sister to stay up late to practice organ.
3. He stopped playing when he saw that he could not stay late, but returned to the guitar when he was 12, by that time it already looked different. He realized how much passion he has for the instrument and started practicing for at least 6 hours every day.
4. The first musical influences on him were a combination of hard rock, heavy metal, and progressive: Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Rush, Yes, Iron Maiden, Metallica, and more.
5. One of the first bands he played was a cover band of his good friend, keyboardist Kevin Moore. Moore will later establish "Dream Theater" with him.
6. Joining the band spurred him to increase the pace of learning the guitar as he took advantage of every spare moment to self-learn the instrument in an attempt to resemble his protagonists: Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Randy Rhodes, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Al Di Meola, Yngwie Malmsteen, Alex Lifeson, Steve Howe, David Gilmour, Eddie Van Halen and more.
8. Shortly afterward, the three formed the band "Majesty" and left college to pursue a musical career. They used to play covers of bands like "Rush" and "Iron Maiden".
9. To complete the band lineup, they turned to Kevin Moore to play keyboards and recruited singer Chris Collins to the band after hearing him perform the song "Queen of the Reich" by "Queensrÿche".
10. The name "Majesty" was chosen by Portnoy under the influence of "Bastille Day" from the album "Caress Of Steel" by "Rush", whose ending sounded to Portnoy Majestic !!
11. Under the name "Majesty" they recorded in the years 1986-1985 a demo album on a 4-channel tape, that originally included six songs. The album was called "The Majesty Demos".
12. These demos were later released as a bootleg with bonus clips from other recordings called "The Berkeley Demos" and included, among other things, a cover version of "Rush" instrumental "YYZ". Those who are interested in listening to demos, can do so here:
13. On November 13, 1986 Singer Chris Collins was fired from the band. After a long search, singer Charlie Dominici was selected and joined the band.
14. Following a threat from a band from Las Vegas also called "Majestic", Petrucci and his friends changed the band's name to "Dream Theater".
15. On June 23, 1988, the band signed a recording contract with an RCA subsidiary.
16. The band released their first album "When Dream and Day Unite" in March 1989 when Petrucci co-wrote the music as well as the lyrics to four of the eight tracks on the album.
17. Following the release of the album the band went for a limited number of performances during which they warmed up "Zebra". After only 4 performances, the band decided to release singer Charlie Dominici from the band. They felt he was not delivering the goods and were looking for a singer who looked and sounds more like Bruce Dickinson from "Iron Maiden" or Geoff Tate from "Queensrÿche".
18. The search for a singer took a long time and came to an end in January 1991, after the band received a demo of James LaBrie who was immediately invited to audition and was accepted into the band.
19. The band's big break came with the second album "Images and Words" released in July 1992. Also on this album Petrucci will write the lyrics for half of the songs and will co-write the music. Petrucci also began to serve as a background vocalist on this album.
20. Petrucci's dominance in background vocals will intensify after Mike Portnoy left the band.
21. Starting with the band's third album "Awake" Petrucci also started using a 7-string guitar. The addition of the low string gave Petrucci the heavy and massive sound associated with it.
22. He wrote the song "Take Away My Pain" from the band's fourth album - "Falling into Infinity" from 1997, in memory of his father.
23. The song "Another Day" from the album "Images and Words" was also written under the influence of his father's fight against cancer, the fight to live "another day" and moreover, Petrucci's desire to stay with him for another day before he leaves the world.
24. Petrucci writes lyrics for at least three of the songs from each album the band has released to date, among these songs are: "Metropolis, Pt. 1: The Miracle and the Sleeper", "The Great Debate", "In the Presence of Enemies" and more.
25. To date, Petrucci has released 14 studio albums and 8 live albums with "Dream Theater".
26. Since 1999 he has also served as the producer of all the band's albums.
27. In 1996, Petrucci was part of Rush's tribute album "Warking Man". He performed the song "Jacob's Ladder" with Billy Sheehan on bass, Mike Portnoy on drums, Matt Guillory on keyboards, and Sebastian Bach on vocals.
28. In 1997 he co-founded with his bandmate Mike Portnoy, an instrumental ensemble called "Liquid Tension Experiment". Together with this band, Petrucci released three albums, the last, named "LT3" in 2021.
29. In 1998, Petrucci was featured on the Explorers Club's Age of Impact album alongside James LaBrie and Steve Howe.
30. In 2000 he released the live album "An Evening with John Petrucci and Jordan Rudess" in which he collaborated with "Dream Theater" keyboardist Jordan Rhodes.
31. In 2005 Petrucci released his first solo album "Suspended Animation".
32. Petrucci has quite a few collaborations with various artists and he has been featured on the albums of Derek Sherinian, Marty Friedman, Jordan Rhodes, and more.
33. Petrucci is associated with fast and precise playing and is considered one of the most talented guitarists in the world today.
34. He is one of the most decorated guitarists in terms of competitions, polls, and titles. The following is a small sample and does not represent them:
35. In 2007 he was chosen by the readers of "Total Guitar" magazine as the guitarist of the year.
36. In 2008 he was selected as one of the ten greatest guitarists of all time by "GuitarOne" magazine.
37. In 2009 he reached number two on Joel McIver's list of the 100 greatest guitarists in metal.
38. In the years 2010-2011 he was chosen as the best metal guitarist in the survey of readers and musicians of "Guitar Player" magazine.
39. In 2011 he was also voted one of the 20 best metal musicians of all time, in "Total Guitar" magazine.
40. In 2012 it was ranked 17th on "Guitar World" magazine in the list of greatest guitarists.
41. The same magazine also put him in 2015 on the list of the 50 fastest guitarists.
42. He was also voted the best guitarist in the readership survey of the progressive section of "Classic Rock" magazine.
43. In 2019 he was voted the Virtuoso Guitarist of the Year by "Prog Magazine" readers.
44. In 1995 he released an instructional video called "Rock Discipline", which is a comprehensive guide to the modern guitar playing technique. The video was appreciated by musicians around the world.
45. He writes regular columns for "Guitar World" magazine and even released a book called "Guitar World Presents John Petrucci's Wild Stringdom," which is a collection of those columns he wrote.
46. He took part in guitarist Joe Satriani's G3 tour seven times, the most of all the other guitarists who were part of this prestigious and amazing project.
47. Ibanez was the first to release Petrucci's Signature Guitar. They did so from 1995-1999.
48. Since 2001, Ernie Ball Music Man has created several signature guitar models bearing the name of Petrucci. In fact, the signature guitar of John - "Majesty by Ernie Ball Music Man", is the best-selling signature guitar of all time, according to Forbes.
49. Petrucci wrote and composed two soundtracks for "Sega Saturn" games.
50. He uses the pseudonym Johnny James from the imaginary ensemble "Nightmare Cinema" in which members of the "Dream Theater" used to change musical instruments during the encores.
51. Jordan Rhodes stated in 2008 that Petrucci is a devout Catholic.
52. Petrucci spends a significant portion of his time alone building and lifting weights.
54. In 2020 Petrucci released his second solo album "Terminal Velocity" featuring Mike Portnoy and bassist Dave LaRue.
And now we invite you to listen to a playlist we prepared for the band's last appearance in Israel: Click Here.
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Picture: Ultimate Guitar