ORIANTHI Partners With GIBSON On New Acoustic Guitar

Gibson has announced a new partnership with the Australian-born guitarist Orianthi Panagaris. The new Gibson Orianthi SJ-200 Custom in Cherry will be available worldwide this coming May 2021.

“Creating a signature acoustic with the amazing Gibson team was truly an honor! I couldn’t be happier!” says Orianthi. “It’s the same full SJ-200 sound, but it plays much faster with a 345 neck on it, and with the modified unique LR Baggs custom pickup, it’s a balanced guitar and cuts through. I can’t wait for you all to be able to pick it up and shred away on it in May.”

“We are thrilled to welcome Orianthi to the Gibson family,” says Elizabeth Heidt, global head of entertainment relations for Gibson. “We have been fans of her artistry from the start and it is a win for Gibson to have this incredibly talented woman join us.”

Orianthi has been knocking people out with her playing for over a decade and has played and collaborated with Michael Jackson, Alice Cooper, Carrie Underwood and Richie Sambora, among many others.

In late 2019, Orianthi visited the Gibson Acoustic factory in Bozeman, Montana and a creative collaboration was born. Orianthi worked with the luthiers in the Gibson Acoustic Custom Shop to create her perfect signature guitar with a special neck modeled after a Gibson ES 345, a redesigned pickguard with Lotus Flowers, as well as mother-of-pearl dot inlays in the neck. More features include a AAA Sitka spruce top and maple back, gold Grover Keystone tuners, a stunning and distinctive Cherry nitrocellulose lacquer finish, and an LR Baggs Orianthi System, with under-saddle piezo pickup and sound hole mounted preamp and controls and more.

Orianthi‘s first new studio album in seven years and her first new music as a solo artist in six years, “O”, came out in November via Frontiers Music Srl.

Born in Australia, Orianthi was inspired to learn guitar at a young age after discovering her father’s vinyl collection. She rose to international fame at age 24 after the release of her hit single “According To You” and a high-energy performance backing Carrie Underwood at the 2009 Grammy Awards. Although she had already been invited to jam with the likes of Carlos Santana and Steve Vai, mainstream audiences had not previously heard of this captivating guitar prodigy.

Her recognition increased even further when Michael Jackson called with an offer to be his guitarist for his dates at the O2 Arena in London. Although the concert series was not to be, the release of the behind-the-scenes documentary “Michael Jackson’s This Is It” showcased Orianthi‘s masterful playing as well as her creativity and collaboration.

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CHRIS JERICHO Says He Is Not Affected By SEBASTIAN BACH’s Attempts To ‘Bury’ Him: ‘Be My Guest’

Chris Jericho has responded to Sebastian Bach over allegations that the FOZZY frontman uses pre-recorded vocal tracks during live performances.

The former SKID ROW vocalist initially accused Jericho of “miming to a tape” at FOZZY concerts in a social media post last July. In response, the wrestler-turned-rocker insisted that he had “never mimed anything ever” and challenged Bach to a “singoff” with “no effects, no tuning, no bullshit”, saying “Bas is a great singer…but I’m better”.

In the months that ensued, Bach brought up Jericho‘s alleged lip syncing on several occasions, most recently earlier this month in an interview with The Aquarian Weekly. Asked specifically about his feud with Chris, Sebastian said: “I have an open mind about everyone. If I read on Blabbermouth.com [sic] that some band says, ‘We’re the future of rock ‘n’ roll and we are the next thing after THE ROLLING STONES,’ I think, this must be incredible! What have I been missing out on? So, I checked out one video during which the singer was 100% miming to a tape on stage at The Rockpile in Toronto. I thought to myself, ‘That’s weird, that’s not the next ROLLING STONES.’ So, I watch another video where he was opening up for NICKELBACK in an arena and, again, he’s miming to a tape. You can go watch it for yourself. Then someone said, ‘Here’s a clip of him singing live. Legit, bro.’ And it’s him miming to a tape again. It’s crazy obvious. It is not my opinion, it’s fact. It is not me starting a fight. But don’t tell me what singing live is, ’cause I have never used tape. I don’t even know how to do that.”

Bach also addressed the fact that Jericho accused him of having a less-than-original stage name after Sebastian slammed Jericho for copying the name of a SKID ROW tour for FOZZY.

“I switched a couple of letters of my legal last name [Bierk]. Who’s Mongoose McQueen?” Bach asked, referring to Jericho‘s original FOZZY stage name. “What kind of a stage name is that?

“How about this: professional wrestling sucks,” he added. “Everyone wishes they were a rock star. It hilarious. Evidently, all you have to do is [record] a tape, go on stage, and jump around. You can jump off the drum riser and do jumping jacks. It doesn’t matter if you are miming to tape.”

Earlier today (Monday, January 25), Chris took to his Twitter to write: “I’ve been told that @sebastianbach continues to go out of his way to bury me. My response is this…be my guest! You are entitled to ur opinion & it doesn’t affect me either way. I still dig ur work on the first 3 @OfficialSkidRow albums & look forward to ur new record.”

When Bach first went public with his Jericho accusation, FOZZY guitarist Rich Ward called Sebastian “universally disliked” and said that seeing Bach “publicly go after the only guy that I have ever witness utter a nice word about him is sad.”

Sebastian, who has been outspoken about rock bands using pre-recorded backing tracks during live shows, later tried to explain his outburst, writing: “I’m not trying to beat anybody at anything. I’m actually trying to say hey Chris maybe you’re right maybe I’ll stop singing live and prance around while the tape is playing just like you do Chris. I’m tired of trying so hard it’s like beating my head against the wall.”

After a self-proclaimed Bach fan called Sebastian “an asshat” on Twitter for firing “the first shots” in his war of words with Jericho, Bach came back with: “Hey man f*** you. I have spent my life learning how to sing live on stage. When someone comes along and mimes to a tape it sucks for all of the rest of us that don’t. You want to go see a wrestling match good. Don’t call it rock and roll”.

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TESLA Bassist BRIAN WHEAT Credits TRUMP For PFIZER Vaccine Development: ‘Hats Off To The Man’

TESLA bassist Brian Wheat, who is promoting his recently released autobiography, “Son Of A Milkman: My Crazy Life With Tesla”, spoke to Sofa King Cool about what the touring circuit might look like post-pandemic. He said (hear audio below): “I don’t know how it’s gonna be, man. First, let’s get it started back up. But I don’t know how it’s gonna be different. I imagine everyone’s gonna be wearing a fucking mask, right? I don’t know, man. Who knows? You’ve got this vaccine now, so that’s gotta help.”

Asked if he will get the COVID-19 vaccine, Brian said: “I don’t know… A lot of people are just waitin’ and seein’. I don’t know if I’m gonna get the vaccine or not. I mean, I’m probably gonna have to, only in the sense that I think the government or whatever — because the government now is really trying to run your fucking life — are gonna make you do it, or they’re not gonna let you go back to work… So, I imagine I’m gonna have to. But I’m gonna put it off.

“I don’t know if it’s good or bad, this vaccine,” he continued. “It’s like anything — when they had polio, and they had a vaccine for polio, it took a while for everyone to figure it out, how to do it. It’s in the early stages, but thank god President Trump was able to get that thing put together in nine months, ’cause it could have took [sic] 10 years, man. And a lot of people wanna bag on President Trump, but the one thing that people can’t take away from the fucking guy — whether you love him or hate him — is he got a vaccine in nine months. That’s pretty fucking remarkable. So, hats off to the man. Give the guy a little bit of credit.”

Former U.S. president Donald Trump has repeatedly credited Operation Warp Speed initiative with providing the money and resources the government and private companies need to bring a vaccine to the population quickly. But Pfizer, the company behind the vaccine which received FDA approval in early December, has distanced itself from Operation Warp Speed. In early November, Kathrin Jansen, a Pfizer executive, told The New York Times Pfizer was “never part” of Operation Warp Speed, and that the company had “never taken any money from the U.S. government.” However, Pfizer did agree to a $1.95 billion purchase order with the federal government, providing the company a massive guaranteed market if the vaccine proved to be safe and effective.

In November, Trump reportedly fumed that Pfizer intentionally withheld an announcement about progress on its vaccine trial until after Election Day. This despite the fact that Pfizer itself did not receive the preliminary results from its independent study monitors until that group met five days after the election.

“Son Of A Milkman: My Crazy Life With Tesla” arrived on December 15 via Post Hill Press.

TESLA spent most of 2019 touring in support of its latest album, “Shock”, which was released in March of that year via UMe. The follow-up to 2014’s “Simplicity” was produced by DEF LEPPARD guitarist Phil Collen.

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DON DOKKEN Says At Least One Musician In Every Band He Has Talked To In Last Four Months Has Contracted COVID-19

DOKKEN leader Don Dokken and recently talked to his good friend, infectious disease epidemiologist Dr. Anne Rimoin, about COVID-19, getting vaccinated and when we can expect to return to concerts. You can watch the 80-minute chat below.

Speaking about America’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, Don said: “[It’s] bad timing because of the government change — new president coming into office. We have a president that’s a lame duck and is going out of office. It’s bad timing for this — for COVID.

“From my end, as musicians, I don’t know anybody I’ve talked to in the last four months in a band that somebody didn’t have COVID,” he continued. “I know everybody got it, and their wives got it. And a couple of them said, ‘Yeah, it was horrible.’ And they went to hospital and they rejected them. That was in Sweden. They gave him oxygen in a tank and told him to go home, ’cause he couldn’t breathe.

“It’s different symptoms [for different people], it seems like. One guy said, ‘It’s like an elephant standing on my chest. I couldn’t breathe for three weeks.’ And this guy plays ice hockey. He’s fit, and he’s a drummer. And then my other friend who’s a bass player said, ‘I just had a headache all the time. I had no energy. All I could do is sit on the couch — I could barely get off the couch — and I just had no energy to do anything. I couldn’t do anything.’

“So it seems that COVID affects people differently,” Don repeated. “And then you hear these horrible, sad stories that bring tears to your eyes. A perfectly healthy 18-year-old girl last week got COVID and died in three days. There was nothing wrong with her. 18, fit, ready to live her life — gone.

“When I do see people on TV, and they show all these people that are in critical condition — and the only person that’s really talked about it is [comedian and talk show host] Bill Maher — you see people in the hospital and they show ’em, they’re dying and taking their last breaths, but they’re morbidly obese, and they’ve got diabetes, and they’re 480 pounds. I’m, like, well, of course your system’s compromised. If it wasn’t COVID, you’d die of something else.

“For me it’s a little frustrating,” Don added. “How about just get healthy and take the chocolate cake and throw it out?

“Every person I’ve seen on TV that was literally dying or near death was not healthy — they weren’t firefighters; they weren’t muscle bodybuilders. They were in bad shape. They’re diabetic, hearts failing, liver… and they’re in their 40s.”

DOKKEN is currently working on a new studio album, to be released later this year via Silver Lining Music, the label owned by Thomas Jensen, one of the founders of Germany’s Wacken Open Air festival.

DOKKEN released an album called “The Lost Songs: 1978-1981” in August via Silver Lining Music. Featuring sleeve art by renowned U.S. artist Tokyo Hiro (MOTÖRHEAD, MOTLEY CRÜE), the effort contains material written and recorded 40 years ago as Don embarked upon a journey which started in Southern California and Northern Germany.

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ACCEPT’s WOLF HOFFMANN Recalls Recording Unreleased AC/DC Song ‘I’m A Rebel’

Ahead of the release of ACCEPT‘s new album “Too Mean To Die”, ACCEPT guitarist Wolf Hoffmann was interviewed by the “Australian Rock Show” podcast. During the chat, which can be streamed below, Hoffmann was asked about ACCEPT‘s recording of the unreleased AC/DC song “I’m A Rebel”. He confirmed that the musical arrangement of ACCEPT‘s 1980 recording is “actually the same” as the demo recorded by AC/DC in 1976. “I’m A Rebel” was penned by Alexander Young — older brother of Angus and Malcolm Young — and is one of the rarest AC/DC recordings.

“I remember we actually worked with Alexander Young,” Wolf revealed (hear audio below). “I think he came to the studio, if I remember properly, but he still didn’t end up producing. I think he just supervised our demos or something, if I recall correctly. ‘Cause we made some demo tracks in the same studio. I think he came out, and we started working with him. And somehow, maybe it was the English, and maybe there was a translation problem — somehow we didn’t really get along with one another. I mean, we didn’t really dislike him, but somehow it didn’t feel like the right fit. And I can’t recall for sure why we didn’t work together more, but I remember he came out for a day or so.”

Comparing the two versions of the song, Hoffmann said: “I think it’s a brilliant track, but I actually do remember that the original version demo with AC/DC had some magic that got a little bit lost when we [ACCEPT] re-recorded it, because it was Bon Scott on the original demo that we heard. And it’s still in the archives somewhere, but, of course, it’s locked away forever and it’s never gonna see the light of day. But it does exist, because I still heard it a few years ago on somebody’s iPhone — namely the guy who actually introduced us to that song was our from our publishing company in Hamburg. And he’s since passed away, and it probably stayed on his iPhone and will never see the light of day.”

AC/DC‘s version of “I’m A Rebel” reportedly featured Alex Young on lead vocals, while Bon Scott (who was allegedly very drunk at the time) did backing vocals. It was recorded without the band’s usual producers, George Young (also a younger brother of Alex Young) and Harry Vanda. A very rough version of what is purported to be the AC/DC version of “I’m A Rebel” is available on YouTube and can be streamed below.

U.D.O., the band led by former ACCEPT singer Udo Dirkschneider, released a new recording of “I’m A Rebel” in 1998 on the album “No Limits”. A live version of “I’m A Rebel” was included on the 2001 U.D.O. release “Live From Russia”.

“Too Mean To Die” will be released on January 29 via Nuclear Blast. The LP will be the group’s first without bassist Peter Baltes, who exited ACCEPT in November 2018. He has since been replaced by Martin Motnik. ACCEPT‘s lineup has also been expanded with the addition of a third guitarist, Philip Shouse, who originally filled in for Uwe Lulis during 2019’s “Symphonic Terror” tour, before being asked to join the band permanently.

“Too Mean To Die” was recorded in Nashville, Tennessee with British producer Andy Sneap (JUDAS PRIEST, MEGADETH), who has been responsible for the studio sound of ACCEPT since 2010.

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