Friday, August 14, 2009

Les No More: Tribute to Les Paul

One of great pioneers of the electric guitar, Les Paul, died yesterday at 94. It’s hard to imagine anyone from The Beatles, Jeff Beck to Jack White without him. But he was not only an extraordinary and fluid player, he also invented the solid body of the electric guitar. His innovation of overdubbing tracks. to create the sound of multiple performers, was a revolutionary process that would leave Pink Floyd and Frank Zappa forever in his debt. Paul went on to invent tape delay and phasing effects which not only enhanced his own performances, but the very process of recording music.

His playing style featured notes that lept off the fretboard like Django and his chording sequences stylistically wed jazz scales and the rhythms of what would become rock and roll. Paul did a series of great pop recordings with his wife Mary Ford in the early ‘50s. Their most famous being “How High the Moon” seen in this TV clip where he gets to demonstrate the overdubbing process.

Watch here:

In the end, there was no finer and classier guitar stylist. The continued popularity of the Gibson Les Paul rightly commemorates his legacy.

1 comment:

  1. that les paul was mind-boggling!

    I'm going to tell my friend hans castorp, the fugitive nurse, about it....he's a big fan of multi-track personalities.

    jeff chandler