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Tak Seeking Whereabouts of Pink EVH Guitar Used in 90s [UPDATE]

Posted on April 27, 2018
Tak Matsumoto News

As part of preparations for the ongoing B’z 30th Year exhibition “SCENES”, B’z staff were tasked with gathering hundreds of artifacts from the band’s history to present to the public. The staging follows the band’s full career with props never before displayed, including the original lyric sheets for various songs such as “ultra soul” and various costumes worn through the years. Of special interest to guitar aficionados was the prospect of seeing all of Tak’s instruments in one place. Yet, one of his iconic guitars is missing, and with good reason: it disappeared without explanation in 1997 and continues to be lost.

In the mid 1990s, Tak had taken a liking to Ernie Ball’s signature “MUSICMAN” EVH—Eddie Van Halen—signature series. One covered in a striking pink finish was used as part of numerous tours including Pleasure’95 “BUZZ!!” and LIVE-GYM ’96 “Spirit LOOSE”. and Pleasure’97 “FIREBALL” as well as being pictured on the cover of double A-side single “Mienai Chikara ~INVISIBLE ONE~/MOVE“.

Staff first noticed the guitar was missing sometime after the close of B’z LIVE-GYM Pleasure’97 “FIREBALL”. It was being entered into storage when it simply disappeared. As a well-documented stage-used guitar, its value would be immense on the second-hand market. Even with twenty years gone, it has never surfaced publicly as staff search for its location even now.

Manufacturer: ERNIE BALL
Model: MUSICMAN EVH model
Finish: Pink
Serial No.: 86255
Period of Use: 1995-1997
Primary Usage:
・B’z Single「Mienai Chikara ~INVISIBLE ONE~」 Cover
B’z LIVE-GYM Pleasure ’95 “BUZZ!!”
B’z LIVE-GYM ’96 “Spirit LOOSE”
B’z LIVE-GYM Pleasure’97 “FIREBALL”
Characteristics:
・”GO NO FURTHER” logo painted onto headstock.

UPDATE: The guitar has been found! Within days of putting out the call on social media, numerous tips came in that eventually led to the recovery of the long-lost instrument. For the past two decades, the guitar has been stored in a prominent guitar manufacturer’s warehouse under careful conditions. The entity in question has not been named but were happy to return the guitar to Tak, who now has it in his possession once again:

The guitar will be on display as part of the second half of the B’z “SCENES” exhibition for fans to see for the first time in twenty years.

New Tak Matsumoto Les Paul in June & Koshi Harmonica Reissued

Posted on March 29, 2018
News

Tak Matsumoto Gibson Les Paul Reissue Inbound

As hypothesized previously, it has today been announced that the Gibson Custom Tak Matsumoto Les Paul Standard Canary Yellow 2018 is being released as part of the thirty B’z 30th Year promotions. The guitar is a reissue of his very first produced by the prestigious Gibson Custom Shop from 1999, which at the time made him the first artist from Asia to be bestowed a signature instrument from the company. Both Custom Shop and Gibson USA versions of the original guitar were produced but were in time supplanted by the “Tak Burst” finish of the same guitar. More recently, Tak has been seen with a large number of Double Cutaway signatures that have seen both private and public varieties prepared.

The 2018 revision will feature the same neck profile as the 2016 True Historic 1959 Tak Matsumoto replica as well as a pair of Gibson Custom Bucker pickups, both styled with zebra bobbins. The original guitar featured a combination of Gibson Burstbucker 2 & 3 pickups, which has been used in numerous Tak signatures in recent years. As with most others produced for him, the guitar features black binding and a rosewood fretboard.

With regard to the reissue, Tak commented:

“Almost twenty years later, the Canary Yellow appears again. I used a prototype during the “LIVE DINOSAUR” tour, which this time features a lightweight chambered body and a tight neck. It can cope with a wide variety of sounds, from the heaviest to cleanest of tones. I am very pleased to have my first signature model reissued in commemoration of the B’z 30th Anniversary Exhibition.”

The limited run guitar—with only 150 to be made—is set for release in June 2018 at a premium price of 678,000¥ ($6,360 USD) not including tax. Additionally, an autographed version will be available to purchase as part of a lottery program at the upcoming SCENES exhibition.

Hohner Koshi Inaba Signature Harmonica Reissued for 30th Anniversary

Those that missed the B’z PARTY fanclub-exclusive Koshi Inaba harmonica will have a second chance, as a B’z 30th Year-labeled version will also be made available.

Koshi Inaba Signature Blues Harp Sold Exclusively to Fanclub Members

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
News

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.

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

The Guitars of DINOSAUR

Posted on December 3, 2017
Feature

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

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

Posted on November 29, 2017
News

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