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Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Les Paul And More.

August 18, 2009

After watching a program on TV the other night that showcased the 2008 Madison Square Gardens’ performance of Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood (plus an earlier program with Stevie Ray Vaughan), I was left feeling satisfied at having heard a couple of the best electric guitar players ever (Clapton and Vaughan). This in turn reminded me of the tremendous influence Les Paul has had on guitar playing due to the development of the solid-body electric guitar, which he pioneered. He helped change the “sound of music.”  

I met Les Paul very briefly many years ago, when my ex husband (and fellow sculptor) L and I were introduced to him at an event in his honor. L had been commissioned to do a portrait (actually a  bas-relief or low relief) of Mr. Paul which was unveiled that evening.  I seem to remember Mr. Paul being a quiet, unassuming man even though, according to Wikipedia, he made the sound of rock and roll possible

Les Paul is credited with many recording innovations, including overdubbing (also known as sound on sound), delay effects such as tape delayphasing effects, and multitrack recording. The lickstrillschording sequences, fretting techniques and timing, set him apart from his contemporaries and inspired many of the guitarists of the present day. He recorded with his wife Mary Ford in the 1950s and they sold millions of records.

Among his many honors, Paul is one of a handful of artists with a permanent, stand-alone exhibit in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He is prominently named by the music museum on its website as an “architect” and a “key inductee” along with Sam Phillips and Alan Freed. Wikipedia

Les Paul | 1915-2009

Paul prepares to rehearse at the Iridium Jazz Club in New York.(Richard Drew / Associated Press / October 4, 2004)

August 16, 2009

From The Chicago Tribune’s, Setting the standard

By Charles M. Madigan

Perhaps the most touching aspect of the announcement of the death of one of modern popular music’s most important contributors is that it came from the Gibson Guitar Corp. For many years, there was no stronger word association for electric guitarists than “Gibson” and ” Les Paul.”

Paul died a few days ago at 94 of pneumonia in White Plains, N.Y. Every reputable guitar store in the Western world has at least one of his “Les Paul” guitars by Gibson hanging on the wall. The older it is, assuming it’s in good condition, the more it will cost. They are distinctive in shape, rounded and solid because of their mahogany and maple bodies. There have been many imitators.

But it was the Les Paul that gave the electric guitar a voice so powerful it could lead bands instead of just chunking along on fat rhythm chords.

Read more at: The Chicago Tribune’s Setting the standard

4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 18, 2009 6:50 pm

    Aloha,

    As one who’s going with Island Notes as my blog title AND using the Vigilance theme AND having penned a little ditty about the estimable Les Paul, well I just have to give a shout out! Hope to check out some more of your blog.

    Darren

  2. August 18, 2009 6:52 pm

    Dang it, I forgot to shamelessly drop the URL to said ditty. Hope it’s not too presumptuous to do so:

    http://islandnotes.wordpress.com/2009/08/13/les-paul-and-a-teenage-love-affair/

  3. September 10, 2009 12:36 pm

    Great site…keep up the good work.

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