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Scary news from the Tony MacAlpine camp: The legendary guitarist has pulled out of scheduled tours of Australia and Asia due to health concerns. From his press release, via Guitar World:

Last week I was taken to the hospital with severe stomach pains. Following blood work, multiple MRI scans and various procedures, doctors discovered a large mass in my intestine, and it seems likely we are dealing with cancer. My doctors have advised me this will need to be dealt with immediately, and I am scheduled for surgery this week.

All the best to Tony.

Read more at GW. 

Right here.

Ahh, what one could buy with $14 million: dozens of perfectly respectable houses, 35 top-of-the-line Ferraris, 14 million scratcher cards, bringing traffic at the convenience store to a halt, or … the ten most expensive guitars ever sold, according to The Telegraph. The UK publication recently profiled ten axes that took astronomical prices at auction, including a Washburn Hawk formerly owned by Bob Marley:

This instrument is classified as a national asset by the Jamaican government and is one of the only seven guitars owned by the reggae icon.

Predictably, half of the high dollar guitars are Eric Clapton related.

Look at them all at The Guardian.

Right here.

Frank Zappa is a rich and fascinating subject. There are multiple films about the late guitarist and composer, but until now not an official, endorsed-by-the-family version. Alex Winter, whose career has ranged from the Bill &Ted franchise (yeah, he played Bill S. Preston, Esq.) to documentary filmmaking is set to direct the upcoming biography. Here is Winter, via Guitar World:

I am beyond thrilled to be embarking on this journey. Our tale will be told primarily in Frank’s own words; he will be our guide through this journey.

Ahmet Zappa chimes in as well:

This is not an easy story to tell and we trust that Alex truly understands the complex and multifaceted man that my father was.

Read more at GW.
Right here.

Several guitars belonging to Jeff Hanneman are currently being auctioned off on eBay. The ESP website is highlighting several of the late Slayer guitarist’s instruments including, oddly enough, a black B.C. Rich:

(T)he serial number seems to indicate it was manufactured in 1990 in the USA. The guitar features a Kahler tremolo, EMG 81 pickups, and is festooned with German phrases and names. Inside the guitar’s hard shell case, there are a number of 1/4” instrument cables, as well as an MXR Carbon Copy analog delay.

Quite the time capsule.

Check out more and follow links to the auctions at ESP.

Right here.

In marking the release of the new Andy Summers documentary Can’t Stand Losing You: Surviving the Police, Guitar World has posted what they consider the guitarist’s greatest moments with his old band, featuring video evidence. They cite great material like “Synchronicity II,” “Next to You,” and “Bring on the Night,” characterized as such:

While his upstrokes in the chorus are pure reggae, the angular series of notes he unleashes in the verses recall prog-rock masters like Robert Fripp of King Crimson. While not the most unforgettable of the band’s hits, this track is really a showcase for Summers’ amazing versatility.

Listen to all the great Summers-ism over at GW.

Right here.

"The Transensor is a Current based design, not VOLTAGE like every other pick-up."

“The Transensor is a Current based design, not VOLTAGE like every other pick-up.”

Shawn Lane left a legacy of stunning playing for us to absorb. This ad from ’97 cites his solo release Powers of Ten as well as a collaboration with bassist/musical partner Jonas Hellborg, Temporal Analogues of Paradise, among others. Also note Shawn’s Vigier Excalibur signature model guitar. Lace pickups, meanwhile, have been manufactured by Actodyne General International since the mid-’80s and were once standard equipment on Fender guitars.

Ad scanned from Guitar for the Practicing Musician, January 1997.

While we’re on the subject, check out this 2001 interview with Shawn conducted for Pointy Guitar predecessor Grace & Fury.

Tributes to B.B. King continue to appear from across the music world in the wake of the blues legend’s passing. One perhaps unexpected source of praise is The Dillinger Escape Plan guitarist Ben Weinman, who says King’s minimalist phrasing had an impact on his band’s dense blocks of sound. From Metal Hammer:

B.B. knew how to use space. Where he didn’t play spoke to you more than where he did play. That’s what really brought the feeling. That’s what I’ve always thought about with Dillinger. Some of the less complex moments speak to you the most, because of everything around them that’s so crazy.

Read more at MH.

Right here.

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