It has been revealed that Tak Matsumoto will be headlining a new themed collaboration album titled SUPER GUITAR DISNEY. The release will feature guitar heavyweights from all eras, including Paul Gilbert, Zakk Wylde, Richie Kotzen, and Jeff Watson. All will be covering seminal Disney theme songs in their own style, with Tak himself tackling “When You Wish Upon a Star” from Pinocchio.
This is hardly the first time Tak has set out to cover film themes. In 2004, he collaborated with other guitarists—including frequent B’z support member Yoshinobu Ohga—for the film-centric Theatre Of Strings. For the album, Tak performed on “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music, “The Godfather (Waltz~Love Theme)”, and the “Enter the Dragon Theme” before the album culminates in all four featured guitarists playing on an original composition titled “The Magnificent Four”. Notably, Ohga also provided his own rendition of “When You Wish Upon A Star”.
The Disney-themed guitar album will be released next month on April 25.
Racing video game Burnout Paradise by Electronic Arts will soon be re-released in remastered form for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The original version of the game, released ten years ago in January 2008, featured a celebrated soundtrack that included “Paradise City” by Guns N’ Roses as its opening theme. Portions of the soundtrack for the original release were sourced from an earlier game in the series titled Burnout Dominator for the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable in March 2007. Both games and the latest version feature an original English song by B’z entitled “FRICTION” which was written specifically for the 2007 edition.
Notably, “FRICTION” became one of the relatively few B’z songs available on international iTunes store fronts though it has since been delisted. It was also later utilized as a second B-side for the fall 2007 single “SUPER LOVE SONG“. A revised version would be featured on the 2007 album ACTION.
Burnout Paradise Remastered will be available worldwide March 16, 2018 for $39.99.
Drumming icon Pat Torpey of Mr. Big fame passed away on February 7, 2018 from complications of Parkinson’s disease. Torpey had been battling the disease for several years and was eventually rendered without the ability to play the instrument, though through his bandmate’s insistence he took on a percussion role for tour dates thereafter and would contribute vocals. On the band’s 2017 album Defying Gravity, he would act as “Drum Producer” while Matt Star joined the band in the role.
Torpey had sustained friendships throughout the music industry and served as an influence on many, including the current B’z drummer Shane Gaalaas who took to Instagram to mourn his passing. For the 1999 B’z album Brotherhood, Torpey and Mr. Big bandmate Billy Sheehan contributed to “girigiri chop (Version 51)“—an album-only version of the year’s number-one single. On October 8, 1999, Torpey and Sheehan appeared alongside B’z on Music Station for a live rendition of the song, which also included “Brotherhood“.
Mr. Big remains one of the most successful international acts in Japan where the bulk of their touring efforts are focused. Apart from the aforementioned B’z collaboration in 1999, bassist Billy Sheehan also appeared on all dates of B’z LIVE-GYM 2002 “GREEN ~GO★FIGHT★WIN~”, and frontman Eric Martin would team with Tak during his 2004 solo project TMG (the Tak Matsumoto Group) alongside Night Ranger bassist and vocalist Jack Blades. Both members also appeared in the 2012 Only Two documentary covering B’z LIVE-GYM 2012 -Into Free- in North America.
In recent live appearances, including those for television and as part of B’z LIVE-GYM 2017-2018 “LIVE DINOSAUR”, Tak Matsumoto has utilized a litany of guitars from his massive collection. This includes several of his signature models from the Gibson Custom Shop, but an inclusion that caught particular attention was what appeared to be the 1999 Gibson Les Paul Tak Matsumoto signature guitar in Canary Yellow. This was unusual because the guitar was last used as part of B’z LIVE-GYM 2001 “ELEVEN” and has not seen the live stage in the years since.
Distinguished music webzine Barks today published their customary report on the equipment used by Tak during the tour. Along with specifying the guitars used for each song along with the amplifiers and effectors, there are accompanying images of the exact instruments played. Most interestingly, the photoshoot did not include the aforementioned Canary Yellow signature, nor did it identify the guitar by a specific name. A blurb accompanying the article explains the omission thusly:
“Although it was not possible to photograph due to being a prototype, a Gibson Les Paul signature model in Canary Yellow was used during four songs. This appears to be a different model from that used in the past, so stay tuned for additional information in the future.”
Tak’s history with Gibson guitars dates back to the early 1990s. In 1994, after B’z had topped the Japanese music industry, Tak became the owner of an extremely valuable guitar: an original 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard, serial number #9-1156. The instrument, now worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, is not used live as a precaution but has been used during recording over the years. A reproduction of this guitar was made as a limited edition for the Japanese market in 2016.
By 1999, after B’z made headlines with B’z The Best “Pleasure” becoming the best-selling album in the country’s history and its similarly successful companion B’z The Best “Treasure”, Gibson approached Tak with the prospect of becoming their latest Les Paul signature artist, and the first from Asia. In time, Tak has become the guitarist with the most signature instruments produced by Gibson.
Whether the guitar will be reproduced and released akin to his past signatures or is a limited reissue prepared to commemorate the band’s thirtieth anniversary has not been confirmed.
B’z have just wrapped up the final date of B’z LIVE-GYM 2017-2018 “LIVE DINOSAUR” in Osaka with a surprise announcement taking place straight after the members left the stage — an upcoming Pleasure tour!
The band’s official website has also been updated with the dates of B’z LIVE-GYM Pleasure 2018, with a two-day special fan club event taking place in Hawaii on September 28 and 29, titled “B’z PARTY Presents Pleasure in Hawaii”. The two-day event will include a talk session and an exclusive concert. A new video has also been posted to coincide with these announcements.
The full setlist of the Osaka finale is posted after the break to avoid spoilers.
B’z LIVE-GYM PLEASURE 2018 Tour Dates
2018/07/07 Okinawa Convention Center
2018/07/08 Okinawa Convention Center
2018/07/14 Sekisui Heim Super Arena
2018/07/15 Sekisui Heim Super Arena
2018/07/21 Ecopa Arena
2018/07/22 Ecopa Arena
2018/07/28 Hiroshima Green Arena
2018/07/29 Hiroshima Green Arena
2018/08/04 Nissan Stadium
2018/08/05 Nissan Stadium
2018/08/11 Ehime Prefecture Budokan
2018/08/12 Ehime Prefecture Budokan
2018/08/22 Sapporo Dome
2018/08/28 Nagano Big Hat
2018/09/01 Fukuoka Yafuoku! Dome
2018/09/02 Fukuoka Yafuoku! Dome
2018/09/06 Toyota Stadium
2018/09/08 Toyota Stadium
2018/09/09 Toyota Stadium
2018/09/15 Yanmar Stadium Nagai
2018/09/16 Yanmar Stadium Nagai
2018/09/21 Ajinomoto Stadium
2018/09/22 Ajinomoto Stadium
Fans that attended the band’s January 14 LIVE-GYM show at the Saitama Super Arena were greeted with an announcement as they entered that the show would be filmed. This was the second of two shows at the venue, with the band performing the same setlist on both nights as well as wearing the same on-stage outfits. This marked the first time during the tour that the two power ballads early in the setlist that had been alternated throughout remained constant for consecutive shows.
Most likely, pick-up shots were also filmed as a precaution on the first night in the event additional footage was needed during editing. This was similarly the case with B’z LIVE-GYM 2006 “MONSTER’S GARAGE” and its celebrated home video release. The show was primarily filmed at Tokyo Dome, but certain portions from their showings at Nagoya Dome and Fukuoka Yahoo! JAPAN Dome were supplemented as well.
A home video release of B’z LIVE-GYM 2017-2018 “LIVE DINOSAUR” is expected to follow later this year, in May, June, or July. To avoid spoilers for those attending the remaining shows, the setlist for the prospective home video is preserved below.