Electric guru: Les Paul at 90
June 18, 2005 11:00 AM   Subscribe

"Now I need to take a piece of wood and make it sound like the railroad track, but I also had to make it beautiful and lovable so that a person playing it would think of it in terms of his mistress, a bartender, his wife, a good psychiatrist." Les Paul interview and his recent 90th birthday celebration. via Kill Ugly Radio. (more...)
posted by madamjujujive (12 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You can still hear Les Paul play at the Iridium in NYC on Les Paul Mondays.
'The Log' Puts Paul in Ranks of Top Inventors
The Les Paul Forum
Smithsonian interview with Les Paul (audio) from the Portraits of Invention series.
Les Paul on Wikipedia.
posted by madamjujujive at 11:04 AM on June 18, 2005

So nice to see an FPP about a legend like Les Paul that is NOT an obituary. Thx, mjjj.
posted by wendell at 11:15 AM on June 18, 2005

Thanks madamjujujive.
"Arthritis is one battle Paul knows he can't win. "It gets worse and worse," he says, holding up his left hand and noting the things he can no longer do with it. "I can't make a chord. And I can't play a chromatic run." Then he smiles broadly. "But I'll find a way to slide one or hammer one. If Eddie Van Halen can do it, I can do it."
He's got a great attitude.
posted by peacay at 11:29 AM on June 18, 2005

Great post madam. Let me add to it. Les Paul is a lot more than a guitar player. He was also instrumental (sorry) in the development of the electric guitar, multi-track recording, and reverb. He invented the trapeze tailpiece which first appeared on the original Gbison Les Paul guitar (along with a pair of Gibson P-90 single coil pickups the forerunner to the humbucker pickup that Eric Clapton made famous.) In recognition of a lifetime of achievement, Les Paul was inducted this year into the US inventor's hall of fame.
posted by three blind mice at 11:33 AM on June 18, 2005

Les, thank you and we love you.
posted by jonmc at 11:44 AM on June 18, 2005

Yes, and madamjujujive, thank you and we love you too!

(And thanks as well to three blind mice for the extra flesh.)
posted by melissa may at 12:06 PM on June 18, 2005

*drools all over post. and juju.*
posted by quonsar at 2:52 PM on June 18, 2005

Fresh Air interview with Les Paul.
posted by mosch at 6:48 PM on June 18, 2005

No doubt, the man was a genius. It's fascinating to look at the techniques used to record most of the "innovative" psychedelic rock of the '60s and realize that most of 'em were invented ten or more years earlier, by one guy who got WAAAAY more than his fair share of talent...
posted by arto at 8:04 PM on June 18, 2005

Great post! What wendell said, especially - probably a great many people, when Les Paul dies, will say "gee, he was still alive?" But it's great that such an incomparable legend is still kicking it in NYC on a weekly basis. I really should make time in my schedule to make the trip up there to see him sometime, but instead what I'll probably do is just berate myself, once it's too late, for having failed to do so.
posted by soyjoy at 8:14 PM on June 18, 2005

*hugs mjjj*
posted by matteo at 3:35 AM on June 19, 2005

juju rules the waves !
posted by sgt.serenity at 6:32 AM on June 19, 2005

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