Aug 17, 2009 2:51 PM
Where would we be without his great work, inventions, and his wonderful heart. We owe so much to Les Paul. I carry him forward everyday I work in this industry.
—Recording engineer/studio owner Michael Denten
Three-time GRAMMY® winner Les Paul was a musical mastermind whose innovations in electric guitar and recorded music are unparalleled. A 1983 Trustees Award recipient and a 2001 Technical GRAMMY Award recipient, his career and contributions to popular music will forever be celebrated, and will continue to influence future generations of musicians. His magnetic charm and sunny disposition matched his incredible skill set, and he will always be remembered with great fondness, humility, and respect. The music industry has lost a true innovator and legend.
On a personal note, Les Paul had a profound impact on my own musical
life. While I'd always loved and enjoyed music as a child, it was one
single occasion that moved me from being passive to active about things
- that was seeing Elvis on the Ed Sullivan Show when I was around 6
years old. From that moment, I knew I wanted to play guitar and finally
badgered my parents to arrange guitar lessons the next year. And it was
eventually graduating to getting an "electric" guitar that really
cemented my interest in playing music and which led to many years of
being a performing and working musician. All of that, of course, set
the stage for my later career as a record producer, music publisher,
industry executive, and my current duties at The Recording Academy.
Without Les having made the significant inventions and contributions to
the music world, I might have just remained a music fan and not a
President/CEO of The Recording Academy®
I first met Les at my uncle’s studio in New York when I was seven years old, and I've been in contact with him through the years. He was like an uncle to me, always patting me on the head. He was one of the kindest and gentlest of the human race. We all owe him a debt of gratitude, he gave us the tools to be where we are today. Multitracking, electric guitar, designed the live echo chambers at Capitol Studios. He also had a great sense of humor. I remember at a TEC award show I introduced him to my wife and he said to her "You're not the woman he was with last night." I will miss him and so will the rest of the music business.
When I was a child, our Boy Scout troop was given a short tour of Mr. Paul's studio. I had never seen such as thing. That 8-foot tall 8-track was something. Years later, a similar machine was in use at Atlantic Studios on Broadway. The old Columbia Studios on East 52 Street had similar machines, too.
Les Paul introduced us all to the possibilities of multitrack, tape echo, overdubbing and how one can manipulate recorded sounds. We saw him a few years ago at Iridium playing with his trio and Chet Atkins. He was an amazing musician too. The last time was at a TEC Awards dinner where they gave Robbie Robertson a new Les Paul. Les looked over the guitar and told Henry Juszkiewicz about some ways to improve it.
Acceptable Use Policy blog comments powered by Disqus