The Week In Guitar: Spinal Tap’s coming back, and Alex Lifeson launches new amps

It’s been a busy week in guitar culture, but here are the most notable news stories, trends and weird stuff we’ve seen over the last seven days.

Alex Lifeson stood next to his collection of LERXST amps. They are grey in colour with red detailing. He is smiling and wearing sunglasses, with one arm resting on an amp head. His two guitars are on stands in front of them.

Image: LERXST / Mojotone

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Welcome to the Week In Guitar! Here’s what’s been going on this week across guitar culture. Let’s dive in.

Long-awaited Spinal Tap sequel to feature Paul McCartney and Elton John

Rob Reiner has confirmed that shooting for the long-awaited Spinal Tap sequel is set to begin next year, and that Paul McCartney and Elton John are on-board for the project.

The director, who will reprise his role as Marty DiBergi, gave Richard Herring a bit of a plot rundown on his RHLSTP podcast, saying: “The idea was that Ian Faith, who was their manager, he passed away. In reality, Tony Hendra passed away. Ian’s widow inherited a contract that said Spinal Tap owed them one more concert. She was basically going to sue them if they didn’t. All these years and a lot of bad blood we’ll get into and they’re thrown back together and forced to deal with each other and play this concert.”

“The band was upset with the first film. They thought I did a hatchet job and this was a chance to redeem myself. I am such a big fan and I felt bad they didn’t like what they saw in the first film.”

“When I heard they might get back together, I was a visiting adjunct teacher’s helper at the Ed Wood School of Cinematic Arts. I drop everything to document this final concert.”

A release date isn’t confirmed yet, but it’s good to know that work on a sequel to maybe the most iconic guitar film of all time has commenced!

Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson (maybe) plan to work on new music together

Bassist Geddy Lee has said he’s planning to write new music with his former Rush bandmate Alex Lifeson. However, he’s been clear that this might not necessarily be under the Rush banner, as speculation about the band continuing without drummer Neil Peart has been rife since his death in 2020.

Lee told CTV Morning Live: “If I say anything about working with Alex, people run to the conclusion that Rush is starting up again. That is not the case. Yes, Alex and I like each other a lot, still. We hang around with each other a lot. And we both have a desire to try to write songs together. We don’t know whether that will bear fruit or not. If it does bear fruit, great. Then we might release some songs.

“If – that’s always an ‘if’ there. But when people publish articles about that, they leave the ‘if’ out. So, yeah, I plan to get together with Al, and we plan to write some songs, but we don’t know if they’ll be any damn good, so we’ll see what happens.”

So it’s clear that Lee wants to reclaim his friendly and creative relationship with Lifeson from endless speculation about the possibility – and taste implications – of a “Rush reunion.”

Alex Lifeson launches new family of amplifiers made in partnership with Mojotone

Yes, Alex Lifeson is double-dipping this Week In Guitar, as he has also announced a new partnership with amplifier brand Mojotone, for an entirely new range of amps under the name of LERXST.

The new amps will be high-end and USA-made, with special limited handwired editions available at a higher price point. The first two models are the OMEGA head and the CHI head/combo. Omega is a 50-watt, two-channel British-voiced head, while CHI has a similar topology but in a more compact format and at a rating of 30 watts.

“There has been an explosion of guitar music within the past five years that has been incredible to witness in its diversity of sounds and players,” says Lifeson. “LERXST amplifiers provide a platform for these players that offers the power and quality of tone of the best amplifiers of the past, while also providing key features like power scaling and high-quality effects loops that reflect the needs of players today.”

Quick Riffs

Quote Of The Week

“It was like having my dad right there with me”

Wolfgang Van Halen has opened up about the surreal experience of using his dad’s old gear while recording his band’s new record, Mammoth II. Not only was he using Frankenstein, he was running the guitar into an original Marshall used by Eddie.

The Encore

Just… watch this video. Please. It’s hilarious. Perfect. No notes.

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