When Dave Amato told the cats at the Gibson Custom Shop that, lately, he’s been forced to choose between his two favourite Les Pauls - a '59 Reissue and a Les Paul Axcess, since you’re asking - the luthiers set about building a new electric guitar that would take the best of both of them and become the REO Speedwagon man’s perfect LP.
The result is a guitar that’s designed to marry vintage Gibson aesthetics and modern player features: the Dave Amato Les Paul Axcess Standard. At Dave’s request, this features a figured top with a "Boston Sunset Fade" finish, a White Ebony fingerboard, an extra-chunky neck profile, a Floyd Rose tremolo - an often divisive choice on a Les Paul - and two '57 Classic Plus humbuckers.
Other features include a swept neck heel, revised back contours and an Apex headstock carve. Rival manufacturers may attempt to copy the design, of course, but Gibson has let it be known that it’ll be protecting its "iconic legacy” from now on.
The new model is now Dave’s main touring guitar and can be purchased for $5,099. Find out more on the Gibson website.