Alex...One of the most under-rated guitarist in rock-n-roll, and the least talked about member of Rush. Alex showed the world that he just wasn't a place holder among Geddy Lee, and Neil Peart with his release of "Victor" in January of 1996. "Victor" showed the rest of the music world what Rush fan's have known for years; that Alex is an extremely talented guitarist sort of lost in the shuffle of a bass lead band. However, if the rest of the music world would have paid attention, they would have known this early on with such songs as "La Villa Strangiato", and "The Trees".
Born Alex Zivojinovic in the small fishing community of Fernie, British Columbia, on August 27, 1953, he started playing the guitar at the age of 12. His first six-string was a Kent classical acoustic, which his father bought him as a Christmas present, and year later Alex acquired a $59 Japanese electric model. If it wasn't for the fact that Alex was a mooch (big smile), we might have never heard of Rush, as he used to borrow Geddy's amp all the time.
Alex is married and has two sons, Justin and Adrian. During his free time, he likes to relax by putting his pilot's license to use, and rumor has it that he's a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force; however, this is unconfirmed. Besides music, his family, and flying, Alex is considered a gourmet cook, and owns a restaurant in Toronto.
Early Years (mid - 60's to 1973)
Alex began his musical training by practicing on a neighbor's violin.
When Alex was 12, his parents bought him an $11.00 Kent classical guitar for Christmas.
Alex, the ingenious rascal he is, took the tonearm of hs record player and jammed the needle into the wood of his Kent,
thereby creating his first amplifier, as well !
Realizing the need to get Alex a decent setup, his parents later bought him a Conora electric solidbody.
He had a small Kent amp, which he put the word "VOX" on in electrical tape !
As Rush formed in '68, Alex was borrowing various amps, including Geddy's Traynor.
Alex was also borrowing guitars, like a Harmony, and Ged's brother-in-law's Gibson Firebird.
In late '68, Alex bought a new tobacco sunburst Gibson ES-335. Soon, he also had a brown '63 Fender Stratocaster,
but Alex didn't care for it much and sold it.
Later, he would buy a Marshall 50-watt head and one 4x12" cabinet. This was to be his setup for quite awhile.
He also had a few effects, including a Fuzz Face distortion, a Maestro phaser, a Crybaby wah pedal, and an Echoplex.
Marshall JMP 50-watt half stack
Alex used a rented Rickenbacker 12-string acoustic on "Before and After"
effects as above
RUSH TOUR (w/John Rutsey)
same as above
RUSH TOUR (w/Neil Peart)
same as above, Alex bought a secnd Marshall amp and now had two full stacks of 4x12" cabinets.
He would also buy (but never use) a '74 Gibson Les Paul deluxe. This guitar had problems and was soon traded for a cherry sunburst '74 Gibson Les paul Standard.
FLY BY NIGHT
Alex played his 335, His Les Paul Std(including the slide part on "Making Memories")
a borrowed Martin acoustic for "Making Memories, an acoustic overdub on "Fly By Night",
and again, the rented Rickenbacker 12-string acoustic for "In the End"
His amps, in the studio, included the Marshall, and also a Fender Super Reverb.
Alex got a Morley Volume/Echo pedal, also for this album, and subsequent tours.
FLY BY NIGHT TOUR
same setup as previous tour
CARESS OF STEEL
the 335 was used on everything, except on "Lakeside Park", which was a rented Fender Stratocaster.
Alex played a rented Fender pedal steel on parts of "The Necromancer",
and used a borrowed classical guitar on "Panacea".
Amps were the same as on FBN.
CARESS OF STEEL TOUR
same as previous tour
the 335 was, again, the primary guitar, with occasional appearences by the Les Paul Std.
Amps were same as before, with a Fender Twin Reverb, also being used.
Alex now, also has a Gibson Dove 6-string acoustic, and a Gibson B-45 12-string acoustic.
For this tour, Alex would occasionally play a '74 Gibson Les Paul Std in tobacco-burst.
It had Pyramid pickups installed, but were later switched back to the stock pickups.
The 335 was also, still being used.
ALL THE WORLDS A STAGE
Alex played the tobacco Les Paul exclusively at these shows
amps and fx same as before
ALL THE WORLDS A STAGE TOUR
pretty much the same setup as the previous tour.
Alex got his cherry red Gibson EDS-1175 doubleneck around this time,
and was using it late in the tour, on the pre-release version of "Xanadu",
and also on "A Passage to Bankok".
A FAREWELL TO KINGS
a new Gibson ES-355 in cream, rewired to mono.
white Gibson EDS-1275 doubleneck
Gibson J-55 jumbo-body acoustic
Epiphone C-60 classical
Black '77 Fender Stratocaster (the wild guitar solo on "A Farewell to Kings" was this guitar)
custom-built Pyramid solid body(which wouldn't actually be recorded until Permanent Waves)
Amps were H/H 100w heads driving Marshall 4x12 bottoms
A Roland JC-120 amp was also used on "Madrigal"
A FAREWELL TO KINGS TOUR (including ARCHIVES TOUR)
The 355 became Alex's main guitar
also touring was the tobacco Les Paul
Initially, both doublenecks were touring, until the 1175 was damaged.
The ES-335 was also damaged, repaired, and retired.
Alex was also touring with a black ES-345, which he got to replace the 335.
Amps, on tour, were Marshall 100w heads w/ 4x12" cabinets, along with a Fender Twin Reverb
Effects now included an Electro-Harmonix Electric Mistress flanger, and a Boss chorus
Recorded were the 355, the 345, and a Roland GR-500 guitar synthesizer,
the Gibson Dove , the Gibson B-45, and the Ramirez classical
Amps were now Hiwatt 100w heads w/ matching 4x12" cabinets
Alex also made his debut on Moog Taurus pedals.
HEMISPHERES TOUR (including short pre-PeW tour)
All the guitars listed above made it to the stage, along with the 1275 dblneck, and the black Strat.
Amps were three Hiwatt heads driving four 4x12" cabinets and one Leslie (rotating speaker) cabinet.
Also the Fender Twin was used.
The effects now also included three Roland Space Echo's
a Maestro parametric filter, and Ashley pre-amps for the acoustic guitars.
Also, a custom-built effects board
Alex would now have Taurus pedals on his side of the stage, from this point, forward.
Also, around this time, Alex built his acoustic guitar stand. Later, this stand would be patented and mass-produced as the Omega Guitar Stand.
The black Strat now featured a very early Floyd Rose tremolo.
No locking nut was installed, rather, Alex used powdered graphite in the string slots to keep friction down.
Also, A Gibson humbucking pickup was installed in the bridge position.
This guitar was used on "The Spirit of Radio", and the lead on "Different Strings"
The 355 was used on everything else, with the exception of the leads on "Jacob's Ladder", which was the Pyramid guitar.
A new sunburst Gibson Howard Roberts Fusion was also used on "Different Strings".
Acoustics were the Gibson J-55 and the Dove in Nashville tuning.
In "Nashville tuning" the low E, A , and D strings are replaced with G, B, and, high E strings, respectively, and are tuned to E, A, and D,
except the E is now tuned the same as the other high E, and the A and D strings are tuned one octave higher than usual.
Amps were combinations of Marshalls, Hiwatts,
and Mesa/Boogies driving Marshall bottoms, and also the Leslie cabinet
Effects now include Loft analog delays and Maestro parametric filters,
in addition to the previous cast of characters.
PERMANENT WAVES TOUR
Pretty much identical to the previous tour, with the addition of the new and improved blackStrat
Amps are also the same
Additional fx are described above.
The 355 was used on "Tom Sawyer" (the lead was played on the Howard Roberts) and on "Witch Hunt",
Otherwise the black Strat ("YYZ", "Vital Signs") along with two new Strats,
a red one ("The Camera Eye"),and a white one,("Red Barchetta", Limelight") were used.
The acoustic on "The Camera Eye" was the Gibson Dove in Nashville tuning
Amps in the stuio were hiwatts, and also two Marshall 4140 combo amps were used.
New effects included Advanced Audio digital delays, Roland digital delays, an MXR distortion, and an MXR Micro-amp preamp.
MOVING PICTURES TOUR (and EXIT...STAGE LEFT TOUR)
On this tour , Alex brought the 355, the Howard Roberts, the three Strats, and the 1275 dblnck.
Acoustics were Ovation Adamas classical and steel-strings.
Amps were the Hiwatt 100w heads driving two 4x12" cabs, and also the Leslie.
The two Marshall 4140 were also used.
Effects are the same, with the addition of those described above.
The Strats were used in various combinations on every song, except for "Digital Man",
which used the Howard Roberts, which was now fitted with a Kahler tremolo unit.
The barely-audible acoustics on "Losing It" were the combination of the Dove in Nashville tuning, and the Adamas.
Amps in the studio, were now just the Marshall combo amps.
New effects included a Deltalab harmonizer(the solo on "The Analog Kid" uses this effect),
also Yamaha E1010 delays were used, and a Mutron octave divider(for the last part of the solo on "The Weapon").
SIGNALS TOUR (and Radio City Music Hall shows)
The three Strats, and the Howard Roberts were the only electrics used.
A blond Fender Telecaster was used at the Radio City shows on "Kid Gloves", and "New World Man"
The Adamas steel-string and classical were the acoustics.
Amps were now just four Marshall 4140's.
New fx as described above.
GRACE UNDER PRESSURE
The Strats now have Shark necks on them, along with the infamous "Hentor Sportscaster" names.
The Tele was recorded on the rhythm track of "Kid Gloves"
Amps and effects are pretty much the same as before.
GRACE UNDER PRESSURE TOUR (including pre-PoW tour)
almost identical to the previous tour, except the Howard Roberts was now retired.
Alex used his Strats, as usual, Adamas acoustics, and was now using Dean Markley amps in the studio.
New effects iclude various Roland digital reverbs and delays
Loft digital delays, Ibanez HD-1000 Harmonizer/Delay, Boss Super Distortion, Boss Octaver,
Delta Lab ADM-2048 digital delay (used as a flanger) and a TSR Rockman.
POWER WINDOWS TOUR
Identical to the studio setup, except for the amps, which were still the Marshal combos.
Late in the tour, Alex began using(and endorsing) Signature guitars.
These were Strat-style guitars.
HOLD YOUR FIRE
Alex recorded with the Signature Guitars, and would occasionally double the Tele, in with them.
The Adamas acoustics were also used. Gallien-Krueger, and Dean Markley amps were used.
Around this time, Alex recieved a prototype Roland Dimension D spatial expander.
This unit was never officially sold on the retail market.
HOLD YOUR FIRE TOUR (and A SHOW OF HANDS album)
Alex took the three signature guitars(white, black, and a dark vermillion) on the road.
Acoustics, again were Adamas.
Amps were Gallien Kruegers.
Effect units remained the same, with the addition of the Dimension D.
Alex, again used primarily the Signatures, and the Tele.
Also the Adamas steel-string and Gibson J-55, which was now the "Nashville tuning" acoustic
Amps were combinations of Gallien-Kruegers, Carvins, and Rolands
Initially, the Signatures were used, but late in the tour, he was just using one Signature,
and had begun to use a tobacco-burst Paul Reed Smith with active single-coil pickups
He also had the black PRS with humbucking pickups, but hadn't yet used it onstage.
For amps, the G-K's were still in use including:
GK CPL-2000 preamp
Macro series Crown power amp.
two 2x12" Celestion GK cabinets.
Roland GP-16 effects processor through another Crown amp driving offstage speaker boxes that are miked as the primary sound source.
Alex was now using a Bradshaw pedal board for his effects.
ROLL THE BONES
For this album, Alex played several guitars, including:
The black PRS, the tobacco-burst PRS, plus two new PRS (a blue one and a red one)
He also played the Telecaster a good bit, doubling rhythm parts, primarily, with it.
A Washburn acoustic was used on "Roll the Bones"
The Gibson J-55 was used as the "Nashville tuning" guitar
Amps were still Gallien-Krueger with an occasional appearence by:
2 Marshall 100-watt 2x12 combos
and a Marshall 100-watt 4x12 half-stack
ROLL THE BONES TOUR
Alex was now using the PRS's exclusively, and was endorsing them, as well.
Ovation Adamas acoustics
Gallien-Krueger amps were still used
Gallien-Krueger 2000 GPL pre-amps
Mesa-Boogie Series 400 II power amp
Crown Macro Series power amp
two Celestion-GK 2x12 's
Bryston 2V "studio" preampinto 2 more Celestion-GK
in conjusnction w/ the Roland G-16 multi-effects processor
New in his Bradshaw unit were:
Roland DEP-5 for reverb
2x t.c. electronics TC-2290 chorus pedals
TC-1210 spatial expander for chorus also
Digi-Tech IPS-33 (for 12 string, pitch-shifting and harmonizing effects)
Alex made a major change on this album.
He recorded the guitars in the room, where he could have total control over feedback and sustain.
He recorded with mainly with the black PRS and he now was using the black Les Paul Custom, as well.
The Telecaster was also used for some clean parts, and to thicken the sound as overdubs.
Amps, this time were a Peavey 5150 and a 100-watt Marshall- each w/a matching 4x12 cabinet.
The Gallien-Krueger was also used to drive the effects Alex was using. That entire signal would go through the effects loop of the Marshall or Peavey.
Alex was using the PRS models and the black Gibson Les Paul Std
Amps were 100w Marshall JCM 800 and 50w Marshall 6300's
each driving a pair of 4x12" cabinets.
New fx included a T.C. Electronics spatial expander
a T.C. 2290 delay unit
Roland SDE 3000 multi-fx processor
Lexicon delay and multi-fx units
Digitech preamp and Palmer speaker simulator for clean and acoustic sounds.
TEST FOR ECHO
Alex used the black and tobacco-burst PRS, again, along with the black Les Paul Custom, and a '63 Fender Strat reissue a Martin classical was used, along with the J-55, the Washburn,a Larivee, and a Godin Acousticaster
Alex also used a mandola, which is basically a large mandolin tuned an octave lower.
Amps were combinations of Marshall 100w and 50w heads, also the Peavey 5150.
Effects now included the Roland VG-08
TEST FOR ECHO TOUR
The electrics mentioned above were used,
Acoustic sounds were supplied by a piezo bridge pickup in one of the PRS guitars.
Amps and effects remained relatively unchanged from the previous tour.
Except the 100w JCM 800's were replaced by JCM 900's
VAPOR TRAILS /VAPOR TRIALS TOUR
PRS Singlecut CE22 and CE24 guitars (5 total, 2 with piezo pickups)
Gibson SG doubleneck
Gibson Les Paul Standards (2)
Gibson Les Paul Custom
Gibson J-150 acoustic with Fishman transducer
Fender Telecaster (customized)
Hughes and Kettner Zentera heads (2)
Hughes and Kettner Triamp heads (2)
4×12 Hughes and Kettner cabinets (5)
Digital Music Corp. GCX Guitar Audio Switchers (2)
Digital Music Corp. Ground Control pedal
Dunlop DCR-ISR Crybaby Rack wah
TC Electronic TC 1210 Spatial Expander
TC Electronic G-Force multi-effects processors (3)
Hughes and Kettner Rotosphere
Behringer Multigate Pro XR4400
Behringer Virtualizer Pro DSP 2024P
Behringer MX602 line mixers (2)
Behringer 662 line splitter/mixer
Custom Audio Japan GVCA-2 Rev 3 guitar volume controllers (2)
Dunlop volume pedal
Boss TU-12H tuner
Korg MPK-130 MIDI Pedal Keyboard
Shure U4D wireless receivers (2)
Shure U-1 wireless belt-pack transmitters
Shure Antenna Distribution System
Samson UR-5D wireless receiver (for acoustic and piezo guitars)
Samson UT-5 belt-pack transmitter
Palmer PDI-03 speaker simulators (4)