NEWS: Official Dream Theater drummer press release

Dream Theater have issued a press release to follow up last week’s epic drummer audition videothon, which ended with Mike Mangini being named their new skinsman. Personally, I’m freaking thrilled at the decision (although I thought Marco Minnemann and Peter Wildoer were also fantastic in their auditions). Mangini did some amazing work with Extreme, Steve Vai, Mike Keneally, Gary Cherone’s Tribe of Judah and James Labrie’s first few solo albums.

Here’s what the band has to say:

New York, NY: A little more than a month after drummer Mike Portnoy’s sudden departure from Dream Theater, the band held three days of auditions in New York City. Over an incredibly productive three-day period, the band played, jammed and spoke candidly and at length with seven of the world’s greatest drummers. The remaining members of the band got to know the candidates musically, personally and professionally and thus assessed the fit of each drummer’s incredible chops with the band’s trademark prog-rock sound.

After intense consideration, the band has unanimously chosen drummer Mike Mangini (Extreme, Steve Vai, Annihilator) to fill the seat behind the kit which was left vacant by Portnoy’s departure late last summer.

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NEWS: LA Guns’ Phil Lewis weighs in on cancelled tour

LA Guns vocalist Phil Lewis has posted the following on his Facebook in relation to the cancelled Sex Action Tour:

“As the oft-used and oft-quoted maxim for assessing the obvious goes: “If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it just may be a duck

About six months ago the band heard there was an Australian tour with Quiet Riot and Warrant being discussed and thought that’s nice and didn’t think to much more about it until two weeks before the tour when we were told that the other two bands had pulled out but we would still like to come over anyway. To be honest I don’t know why they decided not to go, obviously it had to do with money but we were only asking a fraction of what the other two bands were asking and the promoter admitted he couldn’t raise enough money to pay the headliners but the tickets were bought the rooms were booked and the pre sales were doing gangbuster’s . So given the choice of staying at home for two weeks or getting on the big Airbus 380 double decker with the bottomless bar we decided to go.
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NEWS: Foo Fighters Back And Forth comes to DVD, Blu-Ray



Acclaimed Documentary Release Follows On Heels Of Worldwide #1 Album Wasting Light

FOO FIGHTERS: BACK AND FORTH, the feature length Foo Fighters documentary directed by Academy Award winner James Moll (The Last Days, Running The Sahara), will soon be available to anyone who couldn’t score a ticket to its theatrical premiere or missed its broadcast debut. The DVD and BluRay which will be released June 10th in Australia features 35 minutes of extras including additional interviews and deleted scenes.

Produced by Exclusive Media Group¹s documentary division Spitfire Pictures and co-produced and co-financed by Exclusive Media Group and RCA Records, FOO FIGHTERS: BACK AND FORTH is an incredibly intimate and comprehensive portrait of Foo Fighters. From Dave Grohl’s cassette demos that became Foo Fighters’ self-titled 1995 debut to the new worldwide #1 album Wasting Light, FOO FIGHTERS: BACK AND FORTH chronicles every triumph and tragedy along the band’s path to becoming one of the biggest and most loved bands on the planet.

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COOL GEAR ALERT: Gibson 7-string Flying V

As if Gibson’s 7-string Explorer wasn’t enough, now they’ve announced a 7-string Flying V as well. I have a feeling a lot of pointy guitar lovers are going to be playing a lot of heavy riffs some time soon.

Specs include a set of EMG active pickups (a 707 in the neck and an 81-7 in the bridge), 12″ radius fretboard, solid mahogany body, mahogany neck with rosewood fretboard, and slick gold hardware on an ebony black finish. I dig the stripped-down look of the inlay-free fretboard and the Steinberger gearless tuners.

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NEWS: AC/DC to release Bon Scott-era live DVD, Blu-Ray



Lead Singer Bon Scott’s Final Filmed Live Concert Comes to Blu-Ray and DVD For the First Time Fully Remastered With All 13 Power-Driven Song Performances

Limited Collector’s Edition Blu-Ray & DVD Combo Pack with Over 95 Minutes of Extra Content, Collectible Packaging and Keepsake Premium Items also Available!

BURBANK, CA (April 13, 2011) – The tragic death of Bon Scott, AC/DC’s flamboyant front-man in early 1980 sent shockwaves throughout the rock music community. At the time no one could imagine a 1979 Paris concert would be the last filmed live concert of the hallowed singer’s career but he left the stage that night with the rest of the band leaving it all out there as he had done so many times before for millions of fans. Now for the first time ever on Blu-ray and DVD, Warner Home Video (WHV) is getting set to celebrate one of the greatest performers and legendary rock bands of all-time by releasing AC/DC – Let There Be Rock on June 7, 2011 to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the theatrical release. This legendary concert film showcases the power and precision the group brought to the stage that night during the Australian hard rock band’s “Highway To Hell” tour. AC/DC: Let There Be Rock DVD will be available for $21.95 SRP and AC/DC: Let There Be Rock: Limited Collector’s Edition will be available on DVD for $39.99 SRP and Blu-ray/DVD combo pack for $44.98 SRP. Order due date is May 3, 2011.

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NEWS: ENGL opens North Hollywood amp showroom

New North Hollywood ENGL Guitar Amp Showroom Delivers an Exclusive, Hands On Experience

North Hollywood, CA, May 2, 2011 – German-engineered ENGL Guitar Amplifiers now have a home base in North Hollywood, CA. The company has announced the opening of a new showroom that will enable players to see, hear, try and feel these boutique amplifiers in a comfortable, hassle-free environment.

The new facility, conveniently located within the Third Encore complex at 10917 Vanowen Street, offers players the opportunity to really dig into the amps without the fear of disturbing others, or being disturbed. Showroom manager and U.S. artist relations director Michael Berger is available for a one on one consultation and demonstration of the full amplifier line.

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NEWS: Abbey Road LIve records Alter Bridge dates, gives away PRSes

Great news for Alter Bridge fans. Abbey Road Live will be on the road with the band recording select dates on their 2011 tour – offering exclusive limited-edition USB drives in the shape of the Tremonti SE PRS guitar.

Each USB comes with that night’s show and it will be loaded with tons of bonus content, and anyone who purchases a USB drive will automatically be entered to win a PRS Tremonti SE guitar. One guitar will be given away at each show recorded by Abbey Road Live.

You can read my October 2010 interview with Alter Bridge guitarist Mark Tremonti here.

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