Richie Kotzen

Genres: Instrumental Pop / Rock
Decades Active: 1980s 1990s 2000s

Biography

3 February 1970, Reading, Pennsylvania, USA. This highly gifted, US-born rock guitar god is very much in the Joe Satriani mould. By the time Kotzen had reached his seventh birthday, he had moved from piano to guitar lessons, and was playing live with his own band, Arthur’s Museum, when he entered his teens. Taken under the wing of Mike Varney, he was introduced to bass player Stuart Hamm and ex-Journey drummer Steve Smith, with whom he recorded a solo instrumental album in 1989. This showcased Kotzen’s inherent ability and feel for the electric guitar, but also highlighted the limitations of rock music without vocals. Realizing this, he formed Fever Dream, a power trio comprising Danny Thompson (bass), Atma Anur (drums) and himself on guitar and vocals. Although the guitar breaks were excellent, there was a paucity of hooks and a scarcity of real tunes. The solo follow-up Electric Joy saw Kotzen producing his own music for the first time.

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