Me and my guitar: Scott Gorham

It's Axcess all areas with the Black Star Rider

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The Thin Lizzy legend and Black Star Riders guitarist Scott Gorham on how a lifelong guitar journey has brought him to this Custom Shop Les Paul Axcess...

Gibson Les Paul Axcess

"This is a Les Paul Axcess, and what makes it different from all the other Les Pauls is the tremolo system on there. I played a Stratocaster for quite a few years and it had the tremolo system on there and I became used to it. So when they came up with this idea, I just had to have one of these… actually I have four of them now. Bit of a greedy guy!"

Chambered body

"You'll find most guys, after they've been playing for quite a few years, they'll get shoulder, neck and back problems. What the Gibson Custom Shop did is they chambered this for me. They took out some of the wood to make this guitar lighter. They've chambered all of my guitars and it's saved the back, shoulders and neck now. It's a good idea – if you're looking for a lighter guitar, go that way."

Floyd Rose vibrato

You couldn't get the Axcess with this finish, but I really liked it so they said they'd put it on there for me

"The one thing you find out if you use the Floyd is when you start to go a little out of tune, you just whack the arm a little and it comes right back in. Or close enough. So you'll probably see me do that quite a bit. When I start to go out I just give it a little tap to come right back up."


"We go a half step down because we like to play [songs] in a lot of As and Es, and it's much easier for any singer who has to really belt it out. It helps him out a little for pitching and all that."


"I'm using 0.009 to 0.042 strings. I'm a pussy! [laughs] You would think the strings would get floppy but they don't for some reason. They seem fine, if it went down a whole step then I would have a problem. I'd have to go for a higher gauge at that point but a half step is okay."


"The pickups are the stock Burstbuckers, there's coil taps too but I never use them."


"Gibson said I could have any finish I wanted and I just kind of trawled through their art department's set pieces and you couldn't get the Axcess with this finish, but I really liked it so they said they'd put it on there for me."

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