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Guitar Player News For The Week Ending 2/2/18

Chuck Berry, Van Halen, Jeff Beck, Jack White and more…

By Gary Graff
February 2, 2018

* The Chuck Berry estate has authorized a pair of new projects, a documentary tentatively titled Chuck! The Documentary by director Jon Brewer, as well as biopic to be produced at a later date.

* Eddie Van Halen is suing videographer Andrew Bennett who filmed Van Halen rehearsals in 2006 for an unspecified “DVD or video project.” Bennett is trying to sell the footage and has posted a trailer at 5150vault.com. Van Halen wants the video taken down and Bennett prohibited from selling or releasing the footage.

* Jeff Beck launches a Stars Align summer tour with Paul Rodgers and Heart’s Ann Wilson on July 18 in Utah.

* Former Judas Priest guitarist KK Downing will publish a memoir about his days in the band, Heavy Duty: Days And Nights, on Sept. 18.

* Stone Sour’s Josh Rand is sitting out the group’s North American tour after being “checked into a treatment center for unspecified issues,” according to a band statement. The group says he’ll “be back as soon as possible.”

* Jack White has revealed the song “Over and Over and Over” from his new Boarding House Reach album was originally written 13 years ago for the White Stripes. The album comes out March 23.

* Former Motorhead guitarist Phil Campbell has released a video for “Dark Days” from The Age Of Absurdity album he recently released with is band the Bastard Sons.

* Steve Van Zandt will be inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame on May 6 in Asbury Park, honoring his achievements with Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band and with his own music, as well as his Underground Garage empire.

* John Fogerty will re-release five of his solo albums on April 27, expanding the Grammy Award-winning Blue Moon Swamp with two bonus songs. Fogerty is also working on a new album that’s expected out this year.

* Former blink-182 guitarist Tom DeLonge has published the second novel in his young adult sci-fi trilogy, Poet Anderson: In Darkness, with co-author Suzanne Young.

* Former Wings guitarist Laurence Juber is re-releasing his 1982 solo debut album Standard Time, which features the unreleased Wings track “Maisie,” which Juber wrote for Wings’ Back To The Egg album.

* Billy Corgan has confirmed that Smashing Pumpkins are in the studio with producer Rick Rubin working on a new album, with guitarist James Iha back in the band. Bassist D’Arcy Wretzky recently revealed that Corgan has decided not to have her be part of the project.

* Foghat has launched a new line of condoms branded after its 1975 hit “Slow Ride.” They’ll be on sale in time for Valentine’s Day, according to the band.

* Mark Tremonti’s Tremonti has signed a new deal with Napalm Records and plans to release its fourth album this year. The group will also tour Europe with Iron Maiden starting in July.

* Dan Auerbach is among the artists selecting songs for Amazon Music’s Love Me, Love Me Not playlist coming Feb. 9. In addition to favorites by the Beatles and Willie Nelson, Auerbach has also contributed a new video for his song “Up On The Mountain Of Love.”

* Neil Young’s new film, Paradox, will premiere at this year’s South By Southwest Film Festival, which starts on March 9 in Austin, Texas. The western is the directorial debut of Young’s girlfriend Darryl Hannah and also features Willie Nelson and his sons, Lukas and Micah, whose group Promise of the Real is Young’s current backing band.

* George Christie, guitarist for the British heavy metal band Shields, committed suicide on Jan. 31, according to social media posts from the group.

* The Devin Townsend Project has announced a hiatus after eight years in order to allow Townsend to focus on other projects, including four albums he says he has in the works.

* Led Zeppelin By Led Zeppelin, the group’s official 50th anniversary book, has an October publication date. Reel Art Press reveals the 368-page tome will feature “unseen photographs and artwork from the Led Zeppelin archives and contributions from photographers around the world.”

* Former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett and Marillion guitarist Steve Rothery have joined forces to re-record “The Heart Rules the Mind,” which originally appeared on the 1986 album by GTR, Hackett’s collaboration with Yes’ Steve Howe. The new version of the song is currently available for download online.

* Stone Temple Pilots has announced a March 16 release for its self-titled album, its first with new frontman Jeff Gutt. The group released a new song from the set, “Roll Me Under,” this week.

* A video has emerged online of former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley joining one-time bandmate Gene Simmons at Walt Grace Vintage Guitars in Miami during an event to promote Simmons’ new box set The Vault. Frehley is also going to be part of the upcoming Kiss Kruise.