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Friday, August 14, 2009

Remembering Les Paul 1915-2009

Les Paul a true Guitar Hero and inventor died yesterday, August 13th at age 94. It was a sad day in the world of music.

We all lost a legend, but he will live on through his music and the Les Paul guitars. Each and every Les Paul guitar has been crafted from Les' innovations. Every one of them carries the highest quality and standards that he wanted. I hope that Gibson Guitars, who first produced the Les Paul guitar in 1952 will continue to uphold those standards and not change them like they did at one point.

Lester William Polsfuss, known as Les Paul, invented the device that made the electric guitar possible. He was a gifted musician who had his own radio and TV shows. He was a trailblazer, developing the solid-body electric guitar which,
"made the sound of rock and roll possible". [source]

"Paul's contributions to rock 'n' roll went well beyond one gadget. He designed guitars — vintage models were selling for thousands of dollars even before news of his death came — and made the first multi-track recorder. He introduced innovations that established the recording studio itself as a legitimate musical instrument. And in doing so, he shaped much of the genre's sound." [source]

One of Les' inventions – The Les Pulverizer.

Les back in the day.

Les in 2007, a documentary for www.lespaulfilm.com.

Les Paul, playing with B.B. King, Eddie Van Halen,
Jan Hammer, Steve Miller & David Gilmour.

Here's a great article. Les Paul And B.B. King: The Night I Met Two Legends by Adam Rosenberg.

I found this excerpt particularly interesting:

"…all of a sudden there's a tap on my shoulder. I spin around expecting yet another drunken fan trying to muscle backstage.

Instead I saw this short, older man, immaculately dressed and smiling pleasantly. He stuck out his hand and said in a clear, strong voice, "Hi! I'm Les Paul. Can I come back and see B.B.?" I'm usually a pretty talkative guy and am rarely starstruck, but seeing Paul standing there introducing himself to me was almost too much. After taking a moment to collect myself, I told him "Of course" and swiftly escorted him past the bouncers.

The night didn't end there, however. Les and B.B. did end up chatting backstage, and the bluesman brought the guitar legend on stage to join him for the encore. The special moment came when King let Les shred on Lucille, his prized Gibson guitar, an instrument that no one other than B.B. and his inner circle is permitted to touch."

Les Paul with Lucille and B.B. King

I can only imagine what it must have been like to see these two men together on one stage. I figure most of the crowd was in awe.

Thank you for all that you did with music Les. We will remember you fondly.

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