Aug 17, 2009 2:51 PM
Unfortunately, I've never had the great honor of meeting Les Paul, but
if it weren't for him, I'm quite sure no one would have ever heard of
me. He basically invented everything I know.
A virtuoso musician, inventor, and well-loved personality with charm, style and a gift for making people laugh—Les Paul had it all. Many of the Producer & Engineers Wing’s members knew him personally and have great stories to tell. Many more simply revered him as a founding father of rock and roll. From electric guitars to sel sync and multi-track recorders, to effects, including Capitol Studios’ echo chambers, to still gigging in his 90s, Les had an incredible career and will remain an inspiration to us all.
Back in the early '80s, I worked as an audio engineer at Bearsville Studios in Upstate New York—certainly a country studio and well off the beaten path. Bearsville’s owner and grand patriarch, Albert Grossman, had recently upgraded his studio complex and all the old equipment was relegated to a storage building even more remotely located, where it would live out its days in dust and disuse.
Early one Saturday morning, I heard the front-door buzzer and could see on the monitor that someone was at the front door. I got to the large glass door and saw, of all people, Les Paul. I opened the door and the man himself said, “ Hi, I’m Les Paul,” and offered his hand. returned his greeting with awe, and said, “I know who you are, please come in.”
Mr. Paul had heard that Mr. Grossman had decommissioned an old Quad 8 console and was very interested in buying it. I provided the contact information and Les went on his merry way. I don’t know if he ever did buy that console from Albert, but he certainly made my day.
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