Aug 17, 2009 2:51 PM
I had the distinct honor of going to Les Paul's house to interview him for a documentary. It was like entering into hallowed ground as the great man graciously showed us his collection of wonderful "goodies” including The Log (first experimental solid body guitar) to his "dancing shoes" and a Cadillac flywheel-driven disk cutting lathe...Then he demonstrated to me his pride and joy—the 1-inch 8-track Ampex machine which he proceeded crank up all the volume on the output. I listened in awe as he said "See, no hiss”!!!!!
We did not get out of there until about 3am, as Les loved to talk and drink beers... What a great man he was, without his tenacity and understanding of what it would take to make multitrack recording available we as engineers/producers would not have jobs today!!!
I am going to miss him and his sparkling sense of humor as much as his playing and all of his inventions.
My first REAL guitar was a Les Paul. Still have it. My Dad gave up buying a new car so I could have it. I cried when I got it and it changed my life.
Now, how did I ever imagine that I would play with him? I am NOT worthy, but a memory that I will take with me forever. I am honored to have been in the presence of TRUE genius. God bless Les forever.
Les Paul was not only the musician's musician but also the engineer's engineer and the inventor's inventor. He discovered that the erase, record and replay heads on a tape machine were not necessarily best placed in that order - thus inventing multitrack recording - and the clincher was that it was on a mono machine!
He helped develop multitrack recording technology for the benefit of the entire industry. His contribution to the design of the electric guitar is legendary and thankfully well documented - thank God they put his name on a guitar! My first serious guitar was an SG. Thanks Les!!
From Bachman Turner Overdrive/The Guess Who guitarist Randy Bachman
“I am deeply touched by the passing of Les Paul, who I first met in 1959. As a guitarist, composer, electronic innovator and inventor, he was beyond genius and there was none other like him. He was a true musical gift from God to the world and spent his life honoring that gift. I proudly play my Les Paul guitars every night on stage and never forget the moments we shared.”
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