All Steve’s touring guitars (solid bodies only) are Gibsons. While it’s a well-known fact that he has an endorsement with Gibson, could the real reason be that he is a Gibson freak?
As we said in last months issue, his [Steve’s] main guitar of late is a white Les Paul Custom (photo 6 in gallery below). This is mounted with three Gibson PAF [1959 style] humbucking pick-ups with their covers removed. In addition to the familiar circuit where the pick up selector switches between front / centre + rear / rear positions, the volume pot for the centre + rear position uses a push pull type pot which acts as a coil tap switch to allow the centre and rear pickups to be simultaneously switched to single coil. The tremolo system is a Kahler #2200B.
The black Les Paul Custom (photo 7) is a new acquisition and differs slightly from his older one. The circuitry is the same as on the white one but the black one differs in that there is a Gibson Dirty Fingers mounted in the rear pick up position and for the tremolo he has chosen a Kahler #2200K. Also, the twelfth fret position marker is his name “Steve” and the pegs are different. The only point of difference with his black Les Paul Custom from before is the coil tap part, so for the most part they look the same.
The last guitar is a familiar Gibson EDS 1275 W-neck (photo 10). This model is a relatively newly built 6-string 12-string combination.
Later on the Hysteria Tour when Love Bites was released as a single Steve would be seen on stage with a Fender Stratocaster – which was a fairly rare thing to see with Steve being primarily a Gibson man at this point in his career.
This Stratocaster is the one that he uses in the video for the“Love Bites” single. Steve had stated in an interview in Guitarist magazine in 1988 that he had a Fender Stratocaster fitted with Bill Lawrence pick-ups. Bill Lawrence pick-ups are renowned for their excellent tonal qualities. I assume that it is this guitar he’s referring to regarding those pick-ups, but I cannot be sure. Steve’s “Love Bites” strat is a Fender with the standard SSS pick-up configuration. It also has a rosewood fingerboard and is finished in the very nice gunmetal blue colour, looking similar to one that Jimmy Page had. It’s also fitted with a Kahler “Traditional Series” 2520 fulcrum tremolo unit.
Have a look at the gallery below to view Steve’s guitars and equipment for the Hysteria tour