Guitar Great Les Paul – Gone But Not Forgotten
August 13th, 2010 No Comments »
“This guy invented fire. What Dante was to literature, Les Paul was to modern recording. There was all this primitive stuff before him, and everything after him owes him a huge debt.”
Wow. How do I follow something like that? Luckily this legendary musician gives me more than enough material.
Les Paul was an amazing jazz and country guitarist, songwriter and inventor. He completely changed the way pop music is produced and helped make the sound of rock and roll possible with the solid-body electric guitar. He also pioneered the use of recording techniques modern artists take for granted such as multitrack recording, delay and echo, among others. His revolutionary guitar skills continue to inspire guitarists to this day and his namesake, the Gibson Les Paul, remains “the world’s most prestigious guitar.”
Today marks the first anniversary of his death, but his legacy will not soon be forgotten. As Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones put it, “We all must own up that without Les Paul, generations of flash little punks like us would be in jail or cleaning toilets. This man, by his genius, made the road we still travel today.”
So join Jazzville, NJ in celebrating this extraordinary man’s life. Check out Gibson Guitars’ homage to this trailblazing musician. Or read The Signal’s tribute to Les Paul originally published Aug. 15, 2009, (two days after his death) but updated for what would have been his 95th birthday.
Post Script: Life Lesson, added by D.A. Gutierrez
Some may not be aware that Les Paul was active right up until the end – playing every Monday night at the Iridium Jazz Club in Manhattan for more than 12 years. We here at Jazzville, NJ had been wanting to get into the city to check out one of the shows, but we never quite found the time. . . and as you already know, Les Paul was called home on August 13, 2009, so we never did get to see him play.
As if the universe were driving this point home, I realized tonight this same scenario also happened to me with Latin jazz percussionist Tito Puente and (unrelated to jazz) the late comedian, Mitch Hedberg.
Life lesson learned: when you have an opportunity, jump on it!