Alex Lifeson on making his Epiphone Les Paul Axcess: “My biggest concern was, can we get Custom Shop quality in a guitar that costs quite a bit less? I think we did it”

Alex Lifeson
(Image credit: Gibson)

Across five decades with Rush, Alex Lifeson put his own unique spin on the role of the electric guitar in the power trio format, imbuing his band’s compositions with twisted riffs, colorful extended chords, ringing arpeggios, wild whammy bar squiggles, sticky pop melodies and all manner of proggy excursions. 

So it’s not surprising that when he teamed up with Gibson roughly a decade ago to design his own signature guitar, the result – the Alex Lifeson Les Paul Axcess – was, like the man himself, a distinctive take on a tried-and-true classic. 

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.