Friday, August 14, 2009

The Wizard of Waukesha

Les Paul died yesterday.

I was thinking about this. Millions of us wouldn't be who we are had Les Paul not tinkered with the guitar. No, I mean it. Our personalities would have turned out all different - and just wrong. Another hundred thousand or more wouldn't have been *conceived* were it not for music made on the electric guitar. (So, who's your daddy?) Boy, a *lot* of power resided in one man's hands.

Here's an obligatory list of some famous Gibson Les Paul players.

You may not see his picture on the above page, but George Harrison is listed on it. His Les Paul was gifted to him by a guitarist who once fronted a band called Cream. You may have heard of them. In classic blues -and maritime - traditions, the guitar was christened "Lucy". Here she is, the beautiful, seductive and much-storied Lucy.

But it's not just about the solidbody guitar. Les Paul is also credited with the first commercial recording featuring overdubs (Rodgers and Hart classic, YT video; a *delightful* piece of gee-taaar music) . What would modern pop and rock be without that vital recording technique?

For that, and for Whole Lotta Love and Tales of brave Ulysses and the gently weeping Lucy - and for making my teenage years worth living - thank you, sir.


Space Bar said...

you've seen today's QC right?

km said...

I haven't read QC in a looong while, but my sentiments exactly :)

blackmamba said...

I was _just_ going to post a link to QC!