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Tak to Add Cover for SUPER GUITAR DISNEY Album

Posted on March 5, 2018
Tak Matsumoto News

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.

Gibson to Release Reissued Tak Matsumoto Signature Les Paul?

Posted on February 6, 2018

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 year 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.

Left: Tak Matsumoto in promotional photo for his first Gibson Les Paul Signature in 1999.
Right: Autographed edition of the guitar donated to the Hard Rock Cafe in Japan.

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 private reissue prepared to commemorate the band’s thirtieth anniversary has not been confirmed.

The Guitars of DINOSAUR

Posted on December 3, 2017

With every new B’z release comes great anticipation from the guitar enthusiasts that follow the band due to the contributions of composer-guitarist Tak Matsumoto. Thanks to BARKS, we now have an in-depth look at the equipment utilized for the recording of the twentieth B’z studio album DINOSAUR released earlier this week.

With regard to the recording sessions, Tak explained: “I always try a couple of guitars for each song, but this time I ran a lot of amps to search for the best match too. It’s quite a rush. Our sound has remained so stable for so long and because it was the same every time, I thought it’d become boring [to not try something new].” This desire to change led to the eclectic mix of rock tracks that now occupy the released album. Unlike previous albums, though, the guitar was mainly recorded in Japan and not their usual Los Angeles studio. This allowed more ready access to his vast array of guitars and equipment without having to see them all shipped overseas.

In all, the album saw eighteen electric and acoustic guitars be used across the thirteen tracks. A full accounting of all guitars and much of the amplifiers and effects pedals used in tandem to create the album’s sound are shown in the gallery below alongside the songs on which they were featured. Check it out!

Gibson TAK MATSUMOTO 1959 Les Paul Standard

A recreation by preeminent guitar manufacturer Gibson in their custom shop, the Gibson TAK MATSUMOTO 1959 Les Paul Standard is a highly detailed replica of a valuable Les Paul guitar owned by Tak since the early 90s. All of the visual imperfections, including cracks and scratches from aging inherent in the original in its half-century of life, are preserved with no concessions. A limited run of these replicas was prepared for buyers in Japan, with a premium edition signed by Tak selling out immediately after being announced. The guitar is now often played live as a substitute for its more valuable sister instrument, which is never taken out of the studio due to its value and age.

Can be heard on Dinosaur / CHAMP / Still Alive / Seimei (★ Only guitar used for track) / Yowai Otoko / Purple Pink Orange


B’z Rock Best Artist 2017 with “Still Alive”

Posted on November 29, 2017

B’z have just wrapped up their appearance on Nippon TV’s Best Artist 2017 program with the debut television performance of “Still Alive“. The appearance comes on the eve of the release for their twentieth studio album DINOSAUR. The band appeared for a brief interview beforehand prior to a video package being run featuring footage from ROCK IN JAPAN FESTIVAL 2017. The band were supported by Barry Sparks on bass and Shane Gaalaas on drums.

Tak also brought back his first ever Gibson signature guitar: the 1999 Gibson Les Paul Tak Matsumoto Signature model in Canary Yellow. This is the guitar’s first appearance on a live stage in sixteen years after last being seen for B’z LIVE-GYM 2001 “ELEVEN”. The guitar was supplanted later by the Tak Burst model before he segued to his Double Cutaway models beginning in 2004. Given the band’s thirtieth anniversary is coming next year, it’s possible Tak will be revisiting many of his older guitars for the upcoming tours.

Tak performing the finger tap solo for “Still Alive” with his original signature guitar

Video Countdown: The Top 50 B’z Guitar Solos!

Posted on November 24, 2016


Those of us at OFF THE LOCK have long intended to produce additional content that explores facets of the B’z catalogue in ways we have not before. And, with that in mind, we now bring you our very own countdown of the Top 50 B’z Guitar Solos! The order found here is the result of speculation and discussions from throughout the international B’z community over the years. We hope that it will, if nothing else, provide an overview of the vast variety of guitar work and how integral Tak’s solos are to the B’z sound.

In addition to excerpts of each song for the purposes of this countdown, we have also provided information on each guitar used to play each song with the information at our disposal. We cannot guarantee complete accuracy for many reasons, including the fact that Tak often employs several different guitars on each track, but hope it may prove informative nonetheless!

So, after watching: Do you feel something was left out? Or maybe you’d have had a completely different Top 10? What’s your favorite? Let us know what you would have changed!

If you hear a song you aren’t quite familiar with or you’re reminded of one you’ve long wanted to own, consider picking up a physical copy of its album or single from CDJapan or YesAsia!

Gibson Custom Shop Releasing Tak Matsumoto 1959 Les Paul

Posted on July 1, 2016
Tak Matsumoto News

Gibson has announced that they are releasing a Tak Matsumoto custom 1959 Les Paul model based on the 1959 Les Paul #9-1156 owned by Tak himself. Gibson created a digital model of Tak’s guitar by using a 3D scanner, to then build it as one of their flagship models. Tak has used said guitar during his latest solo tour 「Tak Matsumoto Live 2016 -The Voyage-」 and is currently using it as his main guitar.

On BARKS, Matsumoto was quoted as saying “I bought the #9-1156 in 1993. A Japanese instrument dealer introduced me to it and I chose one model ordered from the U.S. Among the candidates there was also a cherry sunburst one, but I chose my current one based on its wood and color.” He continues: “I used it on the B’z album 「The 7th Blues」and my solo album 「Hana」, among others. I choose it during recording when I am working on a mellow part or need that vintage sound. I also used it to do the main part of 「Mystic Journey」, found on my lastest solo album 「enigma」. Furthermore, I played it live on stage in 1996 during my 「Rock’n Roll Standard Club」 tour.”

“I received a prototype during rehearsal for my tour, and the grade of perfection was so high, that made me realize one more time how great Gibson is. I use it during live performances as well as recording. It is currently my go-to guitar.”, says Matsumoto.

A Japan-exclusive limited run of 30 guitars will be hand-signed by Tak Matsumoto and cost you around $14,000. The regular guitar will cost you around $11,000. The guitar will be on sale from July 1st, 2016.

For pictures and more detailed information, check out Gibson Custom’s product page here.