The phrase “Les Paul” is regularly bounced around like a brand name, but unless you’re a guitar player, music anorak or Jazz fan – you may not have realised there is a real life Mr Les Paul.
This 2 minute mini clip is Les in action, and shows all you need to know about modern guitar playing in under 3 minutes – rocking riffs & rythms, cool chords, bouncing bass and shredding lead.
Les Paul is the Leonardo Da Vinci of modern music. He invented multi track recording, but most importantly designed and built the solid body electric guitar as we know it today. Guitars which, as Nik Cohn says in Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom “Came on like space age musical monsters and, immediately, wiped out all of the politeness that had gone before”.
Les is a Jazzer rather than a Rocker, and if he’d have known that Jimmy Page’s Gibson Les Paul would be wacked with a violin bow, Pete Townsend’s would be smashed to smoke and splinters, or seen what Bowie would do to Mick Ronson’s – he may well have burnt the blueprint.
Les Paul is 92 and still plays once a week at Iridium Jazz Club in New York.