Thursday, August 13, 2009

Les Paul.....

Les Paul and that other Paul. Les died today, 94 years old. I'm sure my buddy Phil will comment on this sparse post. I'm sure too that his comment will be far more meaningful than anything I could write. Godspeed, Les Paul....


philcycles said...

Thank you, Maynard, for the graceful lead in.
Les was more than just a great guitar player. He changed the way music was recorded. He developed the modern multi track tape recorder. If part the mists of time with me and return to those thrilling days of yesteryear, you will hear Les Paul and Mary Ford, one of the biggest selling acts of the 50s, and the distinctive multi Mary Ford vocals. Originally this was done-pre tape recording-by playing back a disc with the song, adding another vocal and recording the combination on another disc. Problem was this could only be done a couple of times before surface noise overwhelmed the music. When tape recording was commercially developed by Ampex he used that instead of the discs but noise was still a problem because the recorder had only a single track.
Les' solution was a tape recorder with more than one track-8 in fact, the first multi track recorder. I can remember a Person to Person show, where Ed Murrow would visit famous people's homes-where Les opened a cabinet door in his living room and there it was-an Ampex multi track using 8 Model 300 electronics.
Les used this machine like a musical instrument, adding layers of vocals and guitar parts that couldn't have been done in real time. A true pioneer.
Then there's the electric guitar. Les invented it. Period. I don't need to say more.
Les also overcame terrible injury. He was in an auto accident in the late 40s that shattered his right arm. He had the doctors set it at an angle so he could play guitar. Period.
And he was Steve Miller's godfather and gave him his first guitar lesson. Lucky man.
He was a great man who thankfully lived long enough so see what he set in motion take over the world.
Phil Brown

Addison said...

Back in the early days of rock and roll,my father, who died the day before Les did, used Les and Mary`s music as an example of "good" geetar work and suggested I pay some attention to it. Being a kid, I did a little bit, but did not give up on the "new not so great" stuff I was drawn to.