Aah, the Les Paul. Is there anything cooler than slinging one down around your knees, slumping over like Slash and reeling off sleazy rock riff after sleazy rock riff? Well, yeah. Not having to put down your beloved axe to pick up a wimpy acoustic to play the ballad is cooler. Not being tied to one of those acoustic guitar stands for the songs when you need to play acoustic and electric parts is cooler. Now, Gibson and Epiphone are well aware of how to make a cool thing cooler – just witness the Gibson Tony Iommi SG or the Epiphone Goth 1958 Explorer for proof. So it should be no surprise that they’ve figured out the least obtrusive way yet to cram acoustic sounds (via a Shadow NanoMag pickup) into an otherwise all-electric Les Paul in the form of the Les Paul Standard Ultra-II.
This press release just, to quote Spinal Tap‘s David St Hubbins, drifted through my transom. Thought the USA-made John Lennon signature Epiphone Casinos were freaken’ sweet but couldn’t stretch the wallet that far? Well check out these babies which are made in Asia but feature Gibson USA electronics. Neat!
Nashville, Tennessee….December 18th, 2009…Epiphone Guitar announces the anticipated release of the Limited Edition and New “Inspired by” John Lennon Casino offering the professional musician the same key features of Epiphone’s acclaimed John Lennon signature U.S.A. Casinos but at a more affordable price. Also based upon the “1965″ Casino and the “Revolution” Casino, these two “Inspired by” versions combine the cost-effective workmanship of Epiphone’s own factory in Asia with original Gibson U.S.A. electronics including classic P-90 pickups with dog-ear, nickel plated covers and a Switchcraft(tm) made toggle and output jack.
The Inspired by “1965″ Lennon Casino: In 1966, during the recording of “Revolver,” John Lennon and George Harrison each acquired vintage sunburst Epiphone Casino guitars. The 1965 Casino is a reproduction of the original guitar John purchased with its sunburst finish and stock hardware. Attention to detail includes the correct “burst” pattern and front and back, neck joint at the 16th fret (instead of the 17th), vintage style tuners with small metal buttons, black washer around the toggle switch and the historically accurate rectangle “blue label” inside the sound hole.
In 1968, John had his Casino sanded down to the bare wood and covered with a thin, dull finish. During that time, he also replaced the tuners with Gold Grovers and removed the pickguard. He first used this “natural” Casino during “The White Album” sessions in 1968. The “Inspired by” Revolution Casino is a reproduction of this stripped guitar and as it also remains today. Both “Inspired by” Casinos include a hard case while the Revolution version also includes the unattached pickguard and mounting bracket.
As with all Epiphone Lennon guitars, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of each goes to the BMI Foundation for the John Lennon Scholarship Fund which supports music education. Backed by Epiphone’s Limited Lifetime Warranty and 24/7/365 day Customer Service, these new “Inspired by” Casinos capture the essence of the 1960′s and the Beatles with their authentic looks, specifications and one-of-kind sound and feel that only a Casino has. Pickup one today and start a Revolution!
Zakk Wylde recently burst into town on an international jaunt to show off his three new signature guitars: the Gibson Zakk Wylde Les Paul BFG Buzzsaw and Bullseye and the Epiphone Graveyard Disciple. Zakk’s departure from Ozzy Osbourne’s band this year has been well documented, so I thought it would be fun to instead focus on Zakk’s new axes. Oh and um, warning: if you’re offended by salty language, you might wanna skip this interview, ok?
I Heart Guitar: Zakk! How ya been?
Zakk: Everything’s going good, man. We did an instore the other day, now I’m just hanging out with the rest of the Sydney chapter of Black Label. Just chillin’ out today, doing a batch of interviews, hanging out with the guys from Guitarist magazine over here. So everything’s cool, man. Heading back to the States tomorrow, have the holidays with the kids, then fire up the Black Label machine in January, start working on the new album. So that’s about it, brother.
Zakk: Oh yeah! We actually had one day that we could actually go sightseeing, so we went up to the Great Wall and then the Forbidden City. But usually there’s never any time to go anywhere because you’re workin’, you know what I mean? Most of the time, especially when I was drinking it was like ‘Let’s go sightseeing,’ but it’s like ‘Dude, if we’ve got a day off you and I are gonna go hit an Irish pub,’ you know what I mean?
IHG: You gave us quite a scare a few months ago!
Zakk: Oh yeah, totally, man. Between the blood clots and all that shit… we were out on the road with Mudvayne and Static-X on the Pedal to the Metal tour and we were having a blast out on that thing. Then next thing you know I’m sitting there hanging out and my leg was friggin’ killing me, my left leg behind my knee. I just figured maybe I’d pulled my calf muscle, I’d pulled something behind my knee. It wasn’t like I fell or anything, like maybe I dislocated my knee or fucked up my ankle up or anything. It wasn’t like I was doing David Lee Roth splits off the drum riser. I’d be icing down my leg and everything like that… just in the middle of the night it was a major production to take a leak. After that, we had like a 24-hour drive and I said ‘Before we do this, I just wanna get an ultrasound…’ the guy goes ‘Dude, you’ve got two huge blood clots behind your knee.’ I was like ‘Dude, you fuckin’ kidding me?’ He says, ‘No, do you do a lot of travel?’ I said ‘Well yeah, of course. I’m either on a tour bus or I’m flying or I’m on a ferry or something. I’m always travelling. I’m a musician, that’s what we do for a living.’ He said usually airline pilots get this shit, or truck drivers, you know what I mean? I said I’m not usually stationary, I can move around on a tour bus – it’s not like I’m driving the damn thing. But he said that’s probably where I got it from. I said ‘Would drinking have anything to do with this?’ He just goes, ‘No dude, if anything drinking was thinning your blood.’ I said ‘Well good, alcohol is a good thing,’ and my wife says ‘You’re fucken’ dreaming, buddy-boy. The bar’s closed for you, jackass.’ So I’m takin’ this Coumadin shit, and I had to get myself shots and everything. I haven’t even been drinking the last three months or whatever. I haven’t even had a beer, because if you drink alcohol on this shit you start pissin’ blood out your ass and your dick.
IHG: You don’t need that!
Zakk: Yeah, I’m like, fuck that, it’s a pain in the ass.
IHG: Well let’s talk about the new guitars. I saw one of the new BFG models the other day at Allans in Melbourne and it seemed like a really cool stripped down axe.
Zakk: About 10 years ago I got a prototype up at the house for the BFG guitars. Mine was more like corrugated cardboard and it wasn’t as chambered out as the ones they have now, but I said it would be killer if it had no binding, no paint, no lacquer, all you’re hearing’s the actual wood of the Les Paul. And it is a different model Les Paul. It’s not just a different top on it. It’s chambered out and it has a different feel than a Standard, and it’s definitely different than a Custom. If anybody said they never played a Les Paul cos it’s too heavy, wait til they play one of these things. It’s more like the weight of an SG. It’s definitely lighter. It’s got more top end and everything. The guitar sounds killer. The wood’s beautiful on it. They did a really killer job with these things.
IHG: And the Graveyard Disciple?
Zakk: I remember talking about the Bo Diddley guitar and the Billy-Bo, Billy Gibbon’s guitar, and I was going, ‘These guitars are so god-awful ugly!’ I just dug ‘em. Then I was looking in Vintage Guitar magazine guitar, the Vox Phantom, the Vox Teardrop, just how butt-ugly these guitars are, when they were doing the surf music and all that type of shit. Then I remember getting a coffin thing… it was a promo item with the Black Label logo on it, and inside was a bunch of lollypops my merch company with all the song titles: Genocide Junkies, Graveyard Disciples, House of Doom, Death March, written on the lollypops. I was just like ‘Dude, you know what’d be cool? To put a guitar neck on it.’ So Epiphone went out and made it for me, and I was like, ‘Dude, this thing’s fucken’ slammin’.’ The body is all mahogany like an SG, and the neck, instead of it being mahogany and rosewood like on an SG it’s maple with Ebony like on my Les Pauls. But the neck is a thinner taper – it’s not as thick as my Les Paul Customs. And the thing plays fucken’ great. When you’re sitting down, when they put the Steinberger kickstand on it, you can sit down and play it, otherwise the thing’ll slide right off your fucken’ leg, you know what I mean? But you can sit down and jam on this fucken’ thing like it’s nobody’s business, so man, the thing plays great. And it’s got the Floyd Rose on it so you can dick around with that thing. They did a good job with the guitar – I really dig it.
IHG: And the cool thing is, it’s Epiphone so it’ll be cheaper and more kids can get their hands on it.
Zakk: You can get it for around 800 bucks US or something like that, because it has the passive EMGs. I always put the active ones in it, because it’s always a money issue with that shit. They’ll put the passive ones in it to keep it under a thousand dollars, and if anyone wants the actives they just buy the active pickups and throw them in. So I understand all that shit – they gotta do it that way because it’s the business side of crap. But the guitar plays fucken’ great. Usually if it’s a cheap model you’ll just got ‘Dude, it’s a cheap piece of shit, I ain’t gonna play the fucken’ thing.’ But the guitar’s slammin’. I jam on it all the fucken’ time now. I play it live.
IHG: The quality of lower-priced guitars has improved so much since I started playing.
Zakk: Yeah, without a doubt. The crazy thing was, in the beginning Epiphone was a bigger company than Gibson back in the day, which a lot of people didn’t know. But the craftsmanship on them is slammin’. Some of my buddies like the Epiphones better than the Gibsons.
IHG: And like you say, you can upgrade them with better pickups later and still use the guitar even when you’ve moved up to more expensive ones.
Zakk: I agree. Like with the Randy Rhoads models, you’ve gotta have the student model, then when the kid’s ready to step up and get the one with the binding on it and the really nice shit, and they’re willing to drop $3,000, $5,000 on a guitar they can get it, you know what I mean?
IHG: I did that with Ibanez – I started out with a cheaper RG and eventually kept getting better ones until I ended up with the Jem.
Zakk: Yeah, and even though you got the cheaper one, it was good and it was still good enough that you can wail on the fucken’ thing, you know what I mean?
IHG: Speaking of wailing, I was watching some videos of you playing the Graveyard Disciple the other day and I find it really interesting to see the way you pick. You seem to get your whole forearm involved. How’d you develop that?
Zakk: I dunno, just years of practice. Some people are all wrist, but I use a bit of everything. The way I pick is pretty aggressive. I know a lot of other people pick really light. Even Randy Rhoads – Rudy Sarzo was telling me Randy Rhoads was the lightest picker he ever saw in his life. A lot of stuff Randy was doing too was real legato. But even when he picked everything, Rudy said Randy’s touch was really like.
IHG: One of my friends gave me something really cool recently – a Guitar World from 1988 where they had an article introducing you as Ozzy’s guitarist. And it said you’d be using Strats on what would become ‘No Rest For The Wicked.’ Did that end up happening?
Zakk: No, I never ended up trying a Strat. I think I might have got one of those Yngwie Strats back in the day. Actually I don’t know what the hell I did with that guitar. I fucken’ couldn’t stand the paint job – it was fucken’ terrible. But the guitar was fucken’ awesome. I wish I still had it around the fucken’ house. I’d take it and just fucken’ strip the fucken’ paint off it. I’ve gotta have it in my lock-up somewhere. I remember that guitar was fucken’ kickass though.
IHG: Do you ever look back on those old magazines for old times’ sake?
Zakk: Oh yeah, without a doubt. I saved all that shit. I’ve got a batch of that shit in the lock-up back in California in the compound. So yeah, with the goofy hair and all that shit.
IHG: Well I’m looking at the magazine right now and 20 years ago you looked pretty much like kids today!
Zakk: Oh yeah man, every 20 years everything old is new again. We were just over in Singapore and a lot of the kids fucken’ love Motley Crue, like when Motley was wearing the big hair like in the beginning. I was like, ‘Dude, that shit is the fucken’ coolest shit.’ Then they were telling me, ‘Dude, we didn’t even know about you until we saw that Rock Star movie.’ I was like, ‘Are you fucken’ kidding me?’ And they’re like, ‘No dude, we know about you through that, and dude, that movie is fucken’ awesome.’ But they fucken’ love that 80s shit, y’know what I mean?
IHG: Speaking of movies, you’re acting in a film called Bones that’s coming out soon? (See the trailer below)
Zakk: I had a great time making it. Whenever I do that kind of stuff I had a great time. It’s about this little kid who’s trying to make it, and I’m like his surrogate dad, and I end up mentoring him and shit like that.
IHG: Well that’s time up. Thanks Zakk!
Zakk: Alright brother, good talkin’ to ya, buddy. You take care brother.
Huge thanks to the mighty fine folks at Gibson for arranging this interview.
The other day I was in Allans on Bourke St (and hello to whoever picked up the I Heart Guitar printed pick by Grover Allman that I ‘accidentally’ dropped, hehe), and I noticed a Gibson Zakk Wylde Les Paul BFG Buzzsaw (above). ‘Cool,’ I thought. ‘It’s great to see Gibson running with the BFG concept and giving Zakk some more well-deserved signature guitars.’ Well it turns out lucky Sydneysiders will get the chance to meet Zakk in person at Allans while they check out several new Gibson and Epiphone Zakk Wylde models.
GUITAR ICON ZAKK WYLDE RETURNS TO SYDNEY
SPECIAL APPEARANCE ON THURSDAY DEC 3RD AT ALLANS MUSIC
In the two decades since Ozzy Osbourne hired him away from his job at a New Jersey gas station to become his new guitarist, Zakk Wylde has established himself as a guitar icon known and revered the world over.
And so it is with great pleasure that Gibson announce the return to our shores for a special in-store appearance & signing on December 3rd at Allans Music in the Sydney to coincide with the release of not one, but three new models – Les Paul BFG Bullseye and Buzzsaw plus the Graveyard Disciple.
To attend the Zakk Wylde in-store appearance & signing fans are encouraged to pre-register online at http://www.allansmusic.com.au/
Full details are as follows –
Zakk Wylde Instore Event
Allans Music Sydney
228 Pitt Street, Sydney
Date: Thursday December 3
Time: 4.00pm – 6.30pm
Please note: Zakk Wylde will NOT be performing on the day.
Zakk Wylde is coming. Don’t say we didn’t warn you…
This week’s announcement of a 7-string Gibson Explorer (CLICK HERE to buy it from Guitar Center)has got me thinking – wouldn’t it be great if 7-string versions of some of our other favourites were made? Well it turns out that even if there’s no official off-the-shelf version, chances are you can probably find a 7-string version of whatever you’re after. And if you can’t, you can always commission one from a custom builder. But check out these 7s you probably didn’t know existed.
Fender 7-String Stratocaster Maestro Alex Gregory Prototype
This one is lurking at Gbase.com and is for sale. The desciption notes: “This was released as the first 7-string rock-and-roll solidbody electric and was designed to accomodate a high “A” string to facilitate the upper register notes, unlike the previous 7-string guitars which featured an added low “B” for walking bass lines. This is the prototype for the the Maestro Alex Gregory signature model and includes extra tortoise pickguard (signed by the artist), copies of the original blueprints, patents and documentation of the history of the model.”
CLICK HERE to see Fender prototypes on eBay.
In many ways a 7-string Telecaster makes perfect sense. Put aside for a moment the tendency to think of the 7-string as a metal or shred axe, and think about how awesome those low twangy notes would sound on a Telecaster set up for a filthy-but-clean Junior Brown tone. Features of the Agile T-7 include: Swamp Ash Body, 1 Pieces maple bolt on neck with “C” profile, Maple fretboard with 15” radius, 25.5″ scale and black dots and 22 Jumbo frets, Grover chrome tuners with 18-1 ratio, Agile passive single coil pickups, Graphite Nut, and Satin Polyurethane Finish.
CLICK HERE to see Agile guitars on eBay.
Epiphone 7-string Les Paul
I came so close to buying one of these when they first came out. It seemed a local store just couldn’t shift ‘em and had bumped one down by 50% to drive a little interest. Alas, at the time I still couldn’t afford it (curse you, former job that sucked and paid very little!). These Korean-made beauties combine the darkness of the Les Paul tone with the ‘I’m gonna kill you’ vibe of a chuggy low B string for the ultimate in Guitars That Can Stun Large Animals Two Towns Over.
CLICK HERE to see Epiphone 7-string Les Pauls on eBay.
Epiphone 7-string Flying V
Wait, what’s this? A 7-string Flying V? Awesome. This is an Epiphone but hopefully Gibson will make some of these to go with the Explorers some day. If you can find one of these at your local second hand guitar emporium or auction site, grab it, soup it up with some EMGs or DiMarzio D-Activators and you, sir, have yourself an unstoppable metal machine.
CLICK HERE to see Epiphone 7-string Flying Vs on eBay.
CLICK HERE to see Ibanez 7-strings on eBay.
“The album was 20 years in the making,” Ace Frehley says, in reference to the years that have elapsed since Trouble Walkin’ in 1989 and the September 15 worldwide release of Anomaly. “I started tracking in 2007. I tried to make it as close to my first solo as possible because most of my fans cite that as their favourite record, y’know? I did an interview the other day and I ask the guy, who had heard the whole album in its entirety, what he thought of the record, and he said ‘You could call it ‘Son of,’ you know? So hopefully I think I achieved that.”
Ace Frehley, 2009 edition is a more sober man than the Ace of 1989 or even 1999, when Ace was back in the KISS juggernaut supporting the controversial Psycho Circus album. Although that CD was the first original KISS studio recording to feature Ace since Music From The Elder in 1981, Ace’s contributions were, by his own admission and much to his dismay, rather minimal. Today though, with KISS about to release their own album, Sonic Boom, Ace has his eyes fixed firmly on the future. Y’know, just what you would expect from rock’s preeminent guitar-slingin’ spaceman.
One thing I really like about Anomaly is that even though you used Pro Tools, it doesn’t sound like a ‘Pro Tools album.’ It sounds like it could have been recorded 20 years ago, 30 years ago…
Yeah, well I used a lot of old amplifiers, old guitars, old mics. And I’ve worked with some of the greatest producers in rock and roll: Eddie Kramer, Bob Ezrin and a host of others. And I’ve learned a lot of mic’ing techniques and ways to record from them. Plus I threw in a couple of tricks I’ve learned over the years on my own. I think I achieved an analog sound even though 90% of the record was done directly into the computer.
One thing that really struck me was that the drum sounds are really sharp and snappy, which is really cool.
Yeah! I had Marti Frederiksen and Anthony Focx mix the record. Anthony Focx really specialises in drums because he’s a drummer himself. He really tweaked the drum sound. I just think he did a wonderful job with the mixing, tweaking the drum sounds, the digital reverbs, and the actual room sounds that we got.
Being a guitar geek, I couldn’t forgive myself if I didn’t ask about your approach to gear on the album.
I used a bunch of old Marshall amps, old Fender and Vox amps. I used about a dozen acoustic guitars. Les Pauls, about a half a dozen vintage Fenders. I used a (Gibson) Reverse Firebird. I probably used 25 different guitars on the record. I even used a synthesizer guitar on ‘Change The World.’
Cool! Was that a new one, or one of the old ones people seem to be digging into lately?
It was just a Roland synth guitar I had laying around. I just went into Pro Tools and recorded the MIDI information. Then once you have the MIDI information recorded you can trigger anything, any exterior module or plug-in module.
I’ve been getting into that myself a bit.
This is the first album I’ve done completely digitally, and after working that way I could never go back to working all analog again. The flexibility of digital editing is unbelievable. I did a lot of editing, sampling and cutting and pasting in my hotel room. While Marti and Anthony were mixing one song, I was fine-tuning other songs in my hotel suite, which expedited the album.
Did you use it as a songwriting tool too, or more of just a recording or editing medium?
Nah, I don’t use Pro Tools as a songwriting tool. Most of the songs I write, I just have a drum track in the background. Just the beat, and either an acoustic or electric guitar. That’s the way I write, then I add vocals and build it from that. Some tracks were recorded as a three-piece with Anton Fig and my bass player. Some tracks I recorded into Pro Tools with a drum machine and Anton played drums to them.
I hear you’re working on a new Gibson Les Paul model?
Yeah! The first Ace Frehley signature series guitar came out in 1997. That was a Cherry Sunburst. The new one’s going to be a Blueburst with some special features: pickups I designed, speed knobs, lighting bolts… It’s going to be a special guitar. It’ll be released by the end of the year. The new pickups are basically a collaboration between me and Gibson.
One of my readers wanted to know what you use the middle pickup for. Does that come up often or is it just because it looks really cool?
I don’t use the middle pickup very much. I mainly use the treble pickup. In concert I only have the treble pickup – that’s the only one wired.
Are there any plans to do an Epiphone version of the new guitar?
I believe so!
Cool! Speaking of guitar, the instrumental track ‘Space Bear’ has a really bright, powerful tone. What are you using on that one?
I’m using a Les Paul and I doubled it with another Les Paul… actually I doubled the rhythm track on that with a Reverse Firebird. That song, I wrote that a couple years back. I wrote it for a television pilot for a police show that was never picked up by the network. I had that laying around and I developed it into ‘Space Bear.’ That song was probably the least amount of overdubs of any song on the record. I kept that pretty sparse except for a guitar solo and the riff overdubs.
The ‘Fox On The Run’ cover – when I first heard you did that I thought it was a weird choice, but once I heard it, and especially the verse, it really made sense.
Well last year when I was trying to finalise the songs for the record, I thought it’d be a good idea to do a cover. We were kicking around a few different ideas, and the gal who does my makeup for photo sessions came up with the idea to do ‘Fox On The Run.’ I ran it by my engineer, my assistant and Marti Frederiksen and everyone thought it was a great idea. When I went out to LA to mix the record we had not recorded that song yet. Me and Marti threw that song together one afternoon directly into Pro Tools. Marti programmed the drums, played bass, sang backgrounds, and I did everything else. Then I took the track back to New York and overdubbed live guitars on it. Then I brought the track back to LA and Marti put Brian Tichy on it, and that’s basically what you’ve got there.
I’ve had so many guitar students wanting to learn your licks. Is that amount of influence something you think about when you’re writing and recording new songs, or do you try and not think about it?
It’s something I don’t really think about very often, but when people bring it to my attention it seems a little in the abstract. Cos I never took a guitar lesson, I don’t know how to read music, and the fact that I influenced so many upcoming musicians – I almost feel like maybe I should have practiced a little more (laughs). But it’s something I don’t really think much about. I kind of try to live in the now and just focus on what’s at hand, you know?
It’s something I designed on the computer. I took from a lot of different influences. The actual kinda tentacles coming off from the side came from an alien from the movie Invaders From Mars. And obviously the lightning bolts are part of my persona as a spaceman… it’s just something that developed.
Well that’s all the time we have. Thanks so much!
Thanks so much for the interview. I just want to thank all my fans down in Australia for all the support over the years and I’m looking forward to coming down there.
Huge thanks to Riot Entertainment for arranging this interview. Riot are releasing Anomaly here in Australia on September 15.
Hey, I figured out why the new Epiphone Zakk Wylde Graveyard Disciple guitar looks so familiar.
King Zarcon of Voltron, you diabolical dictator, I expect you’ll be modifying your coffin-shaped ID badge with a Floyd Rose now?
Scary Good Looks! You may have already caught a glimpse on YouTube of Zakk performing on the 2009 “Peddle to the Metal” tour and caught a glimpse of this monster on stage. Designed by Zakk in cooperation with Epiphone, the new Graveyard Disciple combines killer sound with equally killer looks. Shaped like a coffin, the edges of the body are tapered and “pin-striped” in silver giving it a striking visual appearance and depth while providing for a comfortable feel. Pick one up on stage and you will raise the dead!
Dying to be Played: While looks are important, the new Graveyard Disciple doesn’t compromise in the performance department either. As with most all Zakk’s guitars, the neck is made of Hard Maple for bright attack and glued into a solid Mahogany body adding a touch of warm and of course, sustain. The neck features a “D” profile, SlimTaper neck with a smooth, satin finish for fast and effortless lead work. Top it off with a bound, Ebony fingerboard and medium-jumbo frets with easy access to all 22 frets and you’ve got a real performance guitar that’s dying to be played.
EMG Pickups and Floyd Rose Tremolo: Perfectly paired for hard rock and metal, the Graveyard Disciple combines an original Floyd Rose(tm) tremolo with EMG HZ pickups. The tremolo cavity allows for serious dive bombing as well as pull-ups. The EMG HZ-4A is positioned in the bridge position for optimized lead performance while the EMG HZ-4 is voiced for and positioned in the neck position. Designed to emulate the sound of their active counterparts (the EMG 81 and 85), these HZ’s are probably the quietest passive pickups available. And unlike actives, you never have to worry about these babies showing up dead.
Attention to Detail: Other features on the new Graveyard Disciple include a multi-bound headstock with mother-of-pearl “cross” inlay, black hardware with premium 16:1 ratio Grover(tm) machine heads, Mother-of-Pearl topped metal knobs, Epiphone’s non-rotating output jack and Zakk’s signature silhouette on the back of the headstock. For added comfort and convenience while playing in the seated position, the guitar features the brilliantly designed and patented Steinberger LegRest. Fold it down and rest it on your leg. Fold it up and it practically disappears.
Premium Add-Ons: With a guitar like this, you need to carry it in style and so it comes with a custom-made Coffin(tm) case featuring the “Graveyard Disciple” artwork on it. And for this limited edition model, you also get a Certificate of Authenticity.
It may look dead but it will last a lifetime! As with every Epiphone, it features their Limited Lifetime warranty backed by world famous 24/7/365 day Gibson Customer Service. Plug one in and wake the dead today!
At the risk of sounding like Jerry Seinfeld, what is the deal with Chris Cornell’s new album? As you might know by now, it was produced by Timbaland and the PR machine says the album “showcases a new, seductive sound — dark, multi-layered and full of puzzles and surprises. The songs bring a new cinematic scope to Cornell’s performances, with potent visual imagery echoing the non-stop musical assault from his internationally acclaimed live band.”
Now, I have no beef with that, really… I guess. I mean, I loved Queensryche singer Geoff Tate’s solo album - freaking loved it – and the same ‘dark, multi-layered etc’ comments could be made about that CD. But my problem with Cornell’s CD is the cover. Let’s have a look at it.
Do you see what I see? Yeah, he’s smashing a left-handed Epiphone. First of all, Epiphone make fine guitars at all price points and aren’t deserving of such harsh treatment. Secondly, Cornell tends to play Fenders and Gibsons, certainly not Epiphones. Thirdly, it’s freaking left handed. This leads me to one of three conclusions:
1) They spent so much money on hiring Timbaland that the only guitar they could afford to buy and smash for the cover was a secondhand, lefthanded Epiphone from a pawn shop,
2) Cornell is so enraged by the negative response to the album by longtime fans that he snapped, stole some kid’s guitar and crunched it into the floor.
3) They bought an Epiphone for a couple hundred dollars, and whoever designed the cover thought it was more aesthetically pleasing to flip the photo, thus insulting guitarists everywhere. I dunno about you but I see it as a huge mark of disrespect when stuff like this happens. For instance, a few years ago there was a Savage Garden live DVD where the photo was flipped, turning guitarist Daniel Jones into a lefthander. Now, ain’t nothin’ wrong with being lefthanded, of course. But regardless of which way you play guitar, it’s the way you play guitar!!! GRRR!!!
I have a love/hate relationship with Les Pauls. They sound cool, they look cool, but sometimes the neck pitch throws me off a bit and my left wrist gets a little sore. Having said that, I’ve got to meet a lot of great Les Pauls over the years and the wrist thing is certainly something I’ll work through if I ever get totally rich and buy a stable of Les Pauls. And most of them will probably be sparkly.