Judging the Alex Lifeson Gibson Les Paul Axcess

April 1, 2011 by · 10 Comments 

Alex Lifeson Gibson Les Paul Custom AxcessAlex Lifeson is known to have played a tremendous number and variety of guitars throughout his career, and even on one record – in the making of Rush’s 2002 release, Vapor Trails, Lifeson used 50 different guitars and, for the first time in years, no keyboards whatsoever.

Now, Lifeson has teamed up with the good folks at Gibson, releasing his signature model Gibson Custom Alex Lifeson Les Paul Axcess. In some ways, Lifeson goes back to his roots with this guitar; in others, he uses it to summarize a lifetime of playing and recording experience.

Lifeson started out playing a Gibson ES-335 for Rush’s first four albums, switching to a Les Paul (blasted through a Marshall stack) during the seminal 2112 Tour. By the early 1980s he was playing custom-built Fender Stratocasters, with a Bill Lawrence humbucker in the bridge position, almost exclusively. He rotated through four such Fenders – all with Floyd Rose locking tremolos – until 1986, when he switched to his own brand, Signature Guitars. For use in the studio, where time is money, it’s an understandable decision since anyone would be more familiar (and no doubt more comfortable) working with a guitar of one’s own design. Read more

Fender Custom Shop Esquire Guitar

August 6, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Fender Custom Shop 1959 Stealth Esquire SunburstThe Fender Telecaster is seen by many as the primordial electric guitar. It is brutally simple and to the point, built for functionality, and tends to appeal to the caveman contingent of the guitar community, of which your humble Gear-Vault scribe proudly considers himself part. What a lot of players forget is that there is a Fender guitar that is even more stripped-down than the Tele, one that makes Teles seem like Cadillacs. That guitar would be the Fender Esquire. Read more