NEWS: Gibson Les Paul Axcess Standard

A couple of times over the last few days I’ve happened across photos of Gibson Les Pauls with Floyd Rose bridges (namely, Alex Lifeson in the current issue of Guitar Player, and a shot of one of Eddie Van Halen’s guitars from the 80s), and it’s got me thinking about the new Les Paul Axcess.

The Axcess was released in early December 2008 and it’s has a few playability enhancements compared to the Les Paul Standard, including a thinner body, special neck joint and ribcage contouring and, of couse, the Floyd Rose. There’s also a coil split accessed via a push-pull pot. Chuck a middle humbucker in there, Frampton-style, and I’d be in heaven.

CLICK HERE to buy one from Music123.

NEWS: Gibson Jeff Beck 1954 Les Paul Oxblood guitar

Remember Jeff Beck’s iconic refinished Les Paul, used on Blow By Blow? I used to have a poster of it on my bedroom wall when I was, like, 14 or something. Anyway, if I knew then that one day Gibson would make a limited edition version of it, I would have started squirrelling away a few bucks a week.

Here’s the press release:

Gibson introduces the limited edition 1954 Jeff Beck Les Paul Oxblood Guitar

Gibson Guitar has announced the limited edition Gibson Jeff Beck Les Paul “Oxblood” guitar. The new Oxblood model is available in very limited numbers. The first 50 of these historic guitars have been put through an extensive aging and wear process by the master luthiers at Gibson Custom to closely match the look and feel of Beck’s original instrument.

Gibson engineers thoroughly inspected Jeff’s guitar and worked closely with him over a period of months to create as accurate a reproduction as possible. Fifty aged instruments have been personally hand-signed, numbered and played by Beck himself. An additional 100 Gibson Jeff Beck Les Paul Oxblood guitars will be prepared with Gibson Custom’s pioneering V.O.S. finish, bringing the total run to just 150 rare instruments.

Each guitar comes with a specially produced Gibson Custom case with Jeff Beck’s signature silkscreened on the top, a custom care kit and a certificate of authenticity. Once these guitars are sold they will not be reproduced. This is an essential purchase for any guitar collector or fan of iconic British guitarist Jeff Beck.

Many great off-the-shelf electric guitars have had their reputations elevated by the legendary artists who have played them. The best known and most revered of these is arguably Jeff Beck’s Les Paul Oxblood, a guitar from the heart of tone history. Now, Gibson Custom unveils the most accurate recreation of the Jeff Beck Les Paul Oxblood ever produced.

From its aged and authentic Oxblood finish to the custom-tailored neck profile modeled precisely from Beck’s original instrument, to the blistering and powerful sounds produced by Gibson’s legendary Burstbucker humbucking pickups, the new Jeff Beck Les Paul Oxblood from Gibson Custom leaves nothing to chance. It is simply one of the most exact replicas of any historic guitar ever produced by the master craftsmen at Gibson Custom in Nashville, Tennessee.

One of the most influential guitarists in the history of rock music, Jeff Beck burst onto the music scene in 1966 after joining the Yardbirds. Although his stint with the band lasted only 18 months, Beck played on almost all of the group’s hits. At the height of the Yardbirds’ popularity in 1967, Beck left the group and embarked upon an unpredictable journey of musical discovery that has lasted nearly four-decades. Over the course of his career Beck has left his distinctive mark on hard rock, jazz-fusion and modern music history.

During a trip to the US in 1973 Beck bought an early fifties Les Paul Goldtop, which had been modified by the Strings & Things music store in Memphis adding two humbucking pickups to replace the original P-90s, and a heavy dark-brown lacquer finish to the body. Beck himself calls it an “oxblood” color.

This Oxblood Les Paul attained legendary status when played and then featured on the cover of Beck’s groundbreaking jazz-rock album “Blow By Blow” recorded in late 1974 with Beatles producer Sir George Martin. Gibson Custom Division is honored to present this recreation of Jeff Beck’s Gibson Les Paul Standard Oxblood. Beck recently said “The Les Paul has a big powerful sound that no other guitar has. It just sounds rich.” The guitar’s features include a carved maple top under the aged Oxblood finish, a one piece rounded mahogany neck, vintage reissue .010 strings, aged nickel hardware and aged acrylic trapezoid inlays.

For more information, please visit

I first saw this press release on the GuitarSite email.

CLICK HERE to buy Jeff Beck’s ‘Performing This Week…Live At Ronnie Scotts’ from

Are you a Beck fan but more of a Strat player? CLICK HERE to buy the Fender Jeff Beck signature Stratocaster from Music123.

NEWS: Mike Stone quits Queensryche

Guitarist Mike Stone has quit Queensryche, a few weeks after it was revealed Michael Wilton played all the guitar parts on the band’s forthcoming album, ‘American Soldier.’

A statement on the Queensryche website reads:

Mike Stone has decided he will not be touring with Queensryche this spring. We will miss him. He is a wonderful player and has contributed to our lives musically and spiritually. We wish him the best and hope to see him succeed in everything he chooses to participate in. He adds this statement:

“After much consideration, I will not be joining Queensryche on the 2009 American Soldier Tour. I feel now is the time to focus on other musical endeavors, including my new band Speed X with Nick Catanese of Black Label Society. I would like to thank all of the Queensryche fans around the world for being nothing less than amazing to me during my time with the band. You have treated me like gold, and I will never forget it. It has been an honor to be a part of the Queensryche family, and I wish Geoff, Michael, Scott and Eddie nothing but the very best.” – Mike Stone

You can keep up with Mike at his Myspace, or Speed X’s Myspace,

I saw Stone with Queensryche a few years ago (on my birthday) and he brought a really powerful energy to the band’s live sound. Having said that, I’d like to reiterate my offer of taking his place in Queensryche. Hehe.

NAMM 2009: Paul Gilbert, Larry Dimarzio discuss Ibanez Fireman

Check out this great video of Paul Gilbert and pickup legend Larry DiMarzio discussing the design process for Paul’s new Ibanez Fireman series.

It’s so interesting to hear exactly what goes into the design of Paul’s signature guitars, from the visual design to the choice of woods, and the ‘chat over dinner’ format of the video is very cool.

CLICK HERE for the Dimarzio website.

CLICK HERE to buy Paul Gilbert & Freddie Nelson’s ‘United States’ from

NEWS: Billy Sheehan speaks about Mr. Big reunion

Joe Bosso (one of my guitar journalism heroes) from MusicRadar recently spoke with Billy Sheehan about the Mr. Big reunion. 

Here are some excerpts.

“We got together last fall” says Sheehan. “It was just one of those things, the timing was right. We played a gig at the House Of Blues in LA and we smoked the joint. Afterwards, we all kind of looked at one another and were like, ‘OK, that was cool…Now what?”

“The way I look at it is, it’s like getting back with an old girlfriend,” says Sheehan. “But because you want to, not because you have to. All of us are doing fine in our solo careers. This is something that felt right, and after that one gig we were like, ‘We should do more of these. This was fun!'”

As for the animosity that tore the original lineup apart, Sheehan laughs and says, “You know what? I can’t honestly remember who was mad at who. That’s the great thing about getting older: you forget the bad times and remember the good times. And hopefully, this band will have a lot more of the latter.”

CLICK HERE to read the full interview.

CLICK HERE to buy Billy Sheehan’s new album ‘Holy Cow’ from

Thelonious Monk’s advice to saxophonist Steve Lacy (1960)

Here’s some very cool advice from Thelonious Monk to saxophonist Steve Lacy, which can very easily be applied to guitar. Click the image make it big enough to read.

Credit where credit is due, Mrs I Heart Guitar alerted me to this on Eric Alba’s blog, who reblogged it from Neven Mrgan’s tumbl.

CLICK HERE for Thelonious Monk stuff on

VIDEO: My Roger Mayer Mongoose X demo

Here’s a little audio demo of the Roger Mayer Mongoose X (with a simple little image thrown in).

I used my project Telecaster copy for the guitar in the left channel, and my Ibanez UV777BK for the other guitar parts. The amp is my Marshall DSL50 through an AxeTrak isolated speaker cabinet, and I used Toontrack’s Drumkit From Hell and Digidesign Pro Tools.

I came up with this little ditty just to demonstrate the Mongoose, but i like it so I kept writing. I’ll let ya know when I’ve recorded the rest.

If you’re in Australia, you can buy Roger Mayer pedals online from Guitar Toys.

DOUBLE NECK GUITAR WEEK – Day 3: Ovation Celebrity CSE225

I dunno if it’s cool to mention Richie Sambora or not (in fact I’m pretty sure it’s not, sorry Richie), but the dude sure did a lot for the visibility of Ovation double neck and triple neck guitars over the years.

The CSE225-8TY isn’t an official Sambora model or anything like that, but it sure does remind me of being about 12 years old, watching Bon Jovi videos on late night TV. Jimmy Page also used double-neck Ovation models on the ‘Page & Plant – ‘Unledded’ project of the mid 90s.

Specs are:

6/12-String Acoustic/Electric
Body Type: Custom Super Shallow depth
Top: Solid Spruce
Bracing: Modified Quintad
Scale Length:
Fretboard: Rosewood
Fret Inlay: Abalone, Elite Style
Bridge: Walnut
Rosette: Multi Soundhole 5-Piece Epaulet
Pickup: Thinline
Nutwidth: 6 String 1 11/16, 12 String 1 7/8
Case: GC9115

CLICK HERE to buy the Ovation Celebrity Doubleneck CSE225 Acoustic-Electric Guitar Blue Transparent Flame Maple from Guitar Center