Immortal Randy Rhoads – The Ultimate Tribute


PRESS RELEASE: One of the most venerated guitarists ever to grace hard rock music, the late, great Randy Rhoads (heralded as the legendary lead guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne and Quiet Riot) will be celebrated in the truest of fashions with the release of Immortal Randy Rhoads – The Ultimate Tribute on March 3, 2015 via UDR Music.

A collection of 11 classic Rhoads co-written songs, Immortal Randy Rhoads – The Ultimate Tribute is performed by twenty top contemporary artists, including old friends and performing partners Rudy Sarzo and Frankie Banali, his brother Kelle Rhoads and more designated musicians like Serj Tankian, Tom Morello, Vinny Appice, Tim “Ripper” Owens, Chuck Billy, Alexi Laiho, George Lynch, Gus G., Bruce Kulick, Doug Aldrich, Dweezil Zappa and others.  Read More …

NAMM: Gibson unveils Frank Zappa Roxy SG


Dweezil Zappa hinted at this one a few months ago, and here it is! The Gibson Frank Zappa Roxy SG! It has a mahogany body and a mahogany neck with a ’60s profile, rosewood fretboard, ’57 Classic humbuckers, two volume and two tone controls with phase and coil tap mini toggles, and it comes with a hardshell case. It’s not on the Gibson website yet. Stay tuned for release date!

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Dweezil’s new Gibson Frank Zappa SG

Dweezil Zappa has been talking up the brilliant site a lot lately, and he’s posted something super mega ultra amazing: a prototype Gibson Frank Zappa Tribute SG which he hopes will be available to the public soon. It’s based on Frank’s Roxy SG as it looked in that era.

Dweezil says (in part):

“This is a prototype Frank Zappa SG built to my specifications by Gibson. I will be using it on my European and US tours in the Fall and Winter of 2012. Hopefully, fans will be able to get to own one of these in the near future.”

Go here to read the rest. Maybe I’m gonna have to get me another Gibson!

The greatest guitar solo ever

I’ve thought about this a lot lately: what’s the greatest guitar solo ever? I know that’s a purely subjective thing, so really what I’m asking is, what’s the greatest solo ever to me? Well, that’s surprisingly easy: Frank Zappa’s lead on “Any Kind Of Pain” from Broadway the Hard Way. In true Frank style this solo is improvised, and I’ve heard bootlegs of various shows from the 1988 tour which are cool, but not as magical as this one. The take heard on the Broadway The Hard Way album is actually an edited version of this performance, chopping out a big section in the middle. Although the solo’s great in its full version, the edit on the album seems to really kick it up a notch. Here’s the solo as it originally went down.

And here’s Mike Keneally playing it at the Zappa’s Universe concert, very much like the album version.

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NAMM 2011: PRS Dweezil Zappa signature

Dweezil Zappa was featured on the cover of Guitar Player recently with a unique and utterly gorgeous Paul Reed Smith. Well that killer guitar was no one-off: 50 of these babies will be made. I had a chance to check out the guitar close-up and talk with Dweezil about it and he loves it to bits (he’s also an incredibly nice guy). Can’t blame him! I took these pics at the Paul Reed Smith press conference at NAMM yesterday. Expect more PRS NAMM stories over the coming days as I work through all the info!

Dweezil Zappa Limited Run Private Stock Semi-Hollow Electric

Limited to a run of 50 guitars, the new Dweezil Zappa Private Stock semi-hollow model features a unique Custom 24 mandolin shape and is modeled after the guitar Dweezil designed with the Private Stock team.

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NAMM 2010: Fender G-DEC 3 with artist-created backing tracks

There’s a soft spot in my twisted black heart for the original Fender G-DEC. When I was teaching at World of Music I used one of these pretty regularly (unless one of the other teachers nicked it for their room when I wasn’t looking) and I wrote more than a few riffs while inspired by its tones. In fact, I have a song with a working title of ‘Hit the Dec’ which came about from recording a rhythm guitar loop over one of the G-Dec’s drum patterns.

Now the dear little G-DEC has grown up. Check out the G-DEC 3. Of special interest to me is the impressive list of players that have provided backing tracks. Eric Johnson, Phil Collen, Charlie and Frank from Anthrax, Dweezil Zappa, Brad Paisley, Hatebreed, Nils Lofgren, Joe from Fallout Boy, Rev. Horton Heat, Keith Urban… awesome. I can’t wait to try this one out at NAMM.

Fender Introduces New G-DEC® 3 Amp

Create, connect and configure with new generation of groundbreaking practice/recording amp, with presets and loops by top artists

Fender introduces the next step in the ongoing evolution of its acclaimed G-DEC (Guitar Digital Entertainment Center) amp series, the G-DEC 3. Available in 30-watt and 15-watt versions, the G-DEC 3 takes an exciting leap forward in technology and content, with easy computer connectivity and with many of its 100 presets and audio performance loops created by the world’s top artists and session aces.
The G-DEC 3’s wealth of backing tracks consist not of generic presets and loops, but rather a stylistically diverse sonic smorgasbord of tracks created specially for Fender by top rock, blues, metal and country artists and session players. These include Eric Johnson, Charlie Benante and Frank Bello (Anthrax), Phil Collen (Def Leppard), Joe Trohman (Fall Out Boy), Brad Paisley, Dweezil Zappa, Jim “Rev. Horton Heat” Heath, Keith Urban, Hatebreed, Nils Lofgren, Gary Hoey, Crooked X, Strung Out and many others.

Consequently, the G-DEC 3 can be easily configured as an “all rock,” “all metal,” “all blues,” “all country,” etc., amp personally tailored to the user’s own musical tastes.

The G-DEC 3 also includes the exclusive Fender FUSE™ software interface, which lets the amp connect to a computer as easily as a digital camera, without need for any special adaptors or hardware. Fender FUSE lets the user download and upload backing tracks, edit performance parameters and swap files with a worldwide community of players.

Other versatile G-DEC 3 features include:

· Digital amp and effects models that let the user create a personalized arsenal of guitar tones suited to every style of playing.
· Onboard mp3 and wav file storage and playback.

· Ableton® Live Lite 8 Fender Edition studio-quality recording and editing software.

· AmpliTube® Fender LE modeling software, which recreates classic Fender amp tones and delivers ultra-realistic speaker, mic and effects models.
· Multi-function SD card slot for unlimited storage of presets and audio content.
· Rugged Fender Special Design speaker (plus high-frequency tweeter on 30-watt model).

· Onboard phrase sampler with overdub and export functions.

· Onboard chromatic tuner.


NEWS: Zappa Plays Zappa tour dates and slight name change

The latest Zappa Plays Zappa mailout has been sent out with tour dates for the rest of 2009 and early 2010. Dates are below.

It’s interesting to note that the tour’s now being billed as ‘Dweezil Zappa Plays Zappa’ instead of just ‘Zappa Plays Zappa.’ Now, I think Dweezil deserves to be immortalised in a statue of gold for the amazing work he’s done in furthering Frank’s legacy, and he deserves to use this platform to push his own music again eventually. However, on a purely superficial level, ZPZ and Zappa Plays Zappa both flow so much easier than Dweezil Zappa Plays Zappa… although ‘DeeZeePeeZee’ has a kind of charm to it. Does this slight name change signify a shift from amazing reproductions of classic FZ material to amazing reinterpretations? Who knows. But Dweezil’s extremely talented and a nice dude, so I can’t wait to hear what he does next either way!


Nov 19, ’09 Austin, TX Stubbs Amphitheater
Nov 20, ’09 Dallas, TX House of Blues
Nov 21, ’09 Houston, TX House Of Blues
Nov 23, ’09 Albuquerque, NM Sunshine Theater
Nov 24, ’09 Aspen, CO Belly Up
Nov 25, ’09 Boulder, CO Fox Theatre
Nov 27, ’09 Lake Tahoe, NV Montbleu Resort
Nov 28, ’09 Eugene, OR McDonald Theater
Nov 29, ’09 Spokane, WA Bing Crosby Theater
Nov 30, ’09 Bend, OR Tower Theater
Dec 01, ’09 Arcata, CA Van Duzer Theater
Dec 02, ’09 Santa Cruz, CA Rio Theater


Jan 3-7, ’10 Carribbean Ocean Jam Cruise 2010
Jan 8, ’10 Ft. Lauderdale, FL Revolution Live
Jan 9, ’10 Tampa, FL The Ritz Ybor
Jan 11, ’10 Atlanta, GA Variety Playhouse
Jan 12, ’10 Charlotte, NC Neighborhood Theatre
Jan 13, ’10 Raleigh, NC Lincoln Theatre
Jan 14, ’10 Richmond, VA The Hat Factory
Jan 15, ’10 Baltimore, MD Rams Head Live
Jan 16, ’10 Montclair, NJ Wellmont Theatre