Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson discussed guitars in a new Ultimate Classic Rock interview.
Alex talked about his 1968 ES-335 and what drew him to the Gibson model, “I don’t know why I was drawn to the ES line. I think it was because most people were playing SGs or Strats or Les Pauls. I wanted something different.
“I always admired [Jefferson Airplane’s] Jorma Kaukonen and Alvin Lee [of Ten Years After], both ES players. I thought, ‘Yeah, that looks a little different.’
“I used to have that 335 stuffed with cotton, just to cut down on the vibrato.
“I did the same with the 355, but the 355 has that big solid block inside, so it was a heavier, denser guitar that didn’t quite vibrate the same. It was a little more manageable.
“I like the shape of it. How it feels on your body and how your hand holds the neck.
“It’s one thing to hold the neck up like you would with a double-neck for example. It’s another thing to just have it there that your hand is on, nice and loose and playing away.”
Focusing on his double-neck, Alex said how he got it after a visit Gibson’s factory in 1976:
“I wanted to get a double-neck. I also wanted to get a really nice ES guitar and the Dove [acoustic, which he used on ‘Closer to the Heart’].
“When I was there looking at things, I was just caught totally by the 355 and the ones that we saw there.
“We spent some time developing it and the colors and all of that stuff. Even then, we didn’t have a whole lot of money. Getting these guitars was a really big deal and very exciting.”
Discussing the Gibson EDS-1275 double-neck, Lifeson added:
“I was really excited about it. I admired Jimmy Page so much. More importantly, we were starting to write music where I could really incorporate the 12-string.
“But it’s an unwieldy guitar. It’s very head-heavy. So you really literally have to hold the guitar up with your left hand while you’re playing it.”