“His playing speaks to my soul like no other guitarist”: Alex Lifeson joins Adam Jones onstage to help Tool perform Jambi – before gifting his hero one of his signature Epiphone Les Pauls

Tool’s ongoing fall tour recently took them to Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena, and for the occasion the prog heroes called upon Canadian native Alex Lifeson to help them through a set-closing performance of Jambi.

No doubt Lifeson seized the opportunity to take to the stage alongside Adam Jones when the chance presented itself, given the fact the Rush virtuoso has repeatedly spoken of his admiration for the Silverburst Les Paul-wielding mastermind – and Tool – in the past.

Indeed, Lifeson once tapped Tool’s Third Eye as one of the 22 songs that shaped Rush’s sound, and in the process called Jones “a fabulous guitarist and songwriter”, while also commending Tool for their “intensely dynamic, yet heavy” sound.

Lifeson further singled out Jones for praise after his guest spot at the band’s recent show, and even went as far as to gift his hero one of his own personal Epiphone Les Paul Custom Axcess signature guitars, which arrived earlier this year.

Posting to Instagram, Lifeson said, “What an honour and delight it was playing with one of my favourite bands last night. I’ve loved @toolmusic since the first time I listened to them. They are such a great band and I am lucky to call them friends.

“One of the many high points of the evening was gifting my @epiphone Les Paul to @adamjones_tv,” he went on. “His playing is inspirational and speaks to my soul like no other guitarist. Respecto, brother.”

Locking Les Paul fretboards for the 10,000 Days cut, the two guitar titans made light work of the rigorous 10-minute rhythmic workout that is Jambi, courtesy of their pinpoint right-hand picking maneuvers and surgically precise fretting.

It was by no means an easy track to guest on, but as one would expect from a Tool superfan (and from the guitar hero that helped created one of the finest prog outfits of all time) Lifeson looks to have learned the track inside out, and admirably keeps up the band’s resident rhythmic machine.

Among the riff fest, there was also room for some notable lead action, with Lifeson later taking the reins around the four-minute mark to deliver a burst of Rush’s own track, A Passage To Bangkok.

Like we said above, we imagine it was a pretty special occasion for both Jones and Lifeson, as further evidenced by the generous LP gift – which had been signed, “Adam, you are an inspiration!”

In other Tool news, Gibson’s latest Adam Jones signature guitar is here – and it’s a $20k Murphy Lab recreation of the Tool titan’s prized Flying V with a Futura-style headstock.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.