“I have a lot of guitars. Yeah, I’m not like a guitar collector, I don’t have all vintage instruments. I don’t even own a Strat or Les Paul. I don’t have one.”
These wise words were once spoken by one of the best guitarists of all time that has led and is still leading prog-metal, John Petrucci who was born today on July 12, 1967, in Kings Park, New York, to an Italian American family. He picked up the guitar at the age of eight because his older sister was allowed to go to bed later in order to practice the piano. However, he decided to quit the guitar when his attempts to stay up late were unsuccessful. He picked up the guitar again at the age of 12. Petrucci has said that he committed to practicing guitar 6 hours a day when he discovered that it was his passion.
His early taste included some classic rock bands such as AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, but as he got older, he got influenced by some heavy metal and prog bands such as Rush, Pink Floyd, Iron Maiden, Metallica and Yes.
While studying at Berklee College of Music with his bassist friend John Myung, he met drummer, Mike Portnoy. Later on, with the additions of his childhood friend Kevin Moore and singer Chris Collins, the quintet began playing and recording under the name of “Majesty”, until they realized another group owned the rights to the name and changed it to Dream Theater – the name of a movie theater. Despite building a sizeable following in the NY area, Petrucci and his bandmates were little known in other places, but this all changed with the arrival of their new singer James LaBrie, and their sophomore effort, Images, and Words – considered one of the best prog-metal albums of all time. In the following years with Dream Theater, Petrucci was able to create masterpieces that changed the prog-metal history forever.
We wish him a happy birthday!