Thursday, August 13, 2009

R.I.P: Les Paul (1915-2009)

Growing up infatuated with Eric Clapton, I was always a Strat fan, but as I grew older, the Les Paul grew on me. To this day, I'd like a black three-pickup Custom with nickel hardware despite my total inability to play anything that wasn't Peter Gunn. Of course, it hasn't stopped any of those fools on The Warped Tour, so maybe I've been postponing joy needlessly.

Around the time Les Paul turned 80, there was a little blub in the then-still-relevant Rolling Stone with Les in his living room, surrounded by a forest of flame-top Pauls. It was pretty much the coolest thing I'd ever seen and I've been looking for the photo online since his passing. Reading on, I found that Les was the father of multi-track recording and had a lot to do with making the solid body electric guitar what it is today.

Les played for decades on Monday nights at Iridium. It was always quite a scene, but I managed to make it there one night when Slash 'sat in'. Les humored him for about a bar and a half (coincidentally the amount of liquor our Mr. Hudson had in his system at the time) before making him look like an idiot for chorus after chorus. Our Les was not a man to be trifled with, personally or professionally. Take a minute tonight and tip one back for the Wizard of Waukesha.


1 comment:

Rut-a-tat-tat said...

yeah, basically the equation is, no les paul = no rock n' roll. the dude invented pretty much every tool we use making music today. good post rob. rip les...