This guy knew his stuff and his name is mentioned as an influence for many rock and metal players such as Slash, Dimebag Darrell, Zakk Wylde, Jerry Cantrell etc
Les Paul was a world class jazz guitarist and song writer. You check this guys music out on youtube and you'll notice one thing immediatley. He can play like a possessed rabbit on viagra. His music gets you bouncing and when he starts to solo, he shreds like mad. Every note he hits carries weight.
Born Lester William Polsfuss outside Milwaukee, his family was of German ancestry. "Lester" decided a better name to go on stage with would be Les Paul. At age seventeen, Paul played with Rube Tronson's Texas Cowboys, and soon after he dropped out of high school to join Wolverton's Radio Band in St. Louis, Missouri. Mr Paul knew what he wanted to do and his fingers were burning to play.
Les Pauls first two records were released in 1936 and he would continue playing shows up untill his death in 2009. That's 73 years! In 1940, Les spent hours at the Epiphone factory and created "The Log" although it wasn't untill the 1950's that Gibson actually used Les Paul's ideas and put into production a first run of hard bodied guitars based on Pauls ideas. Les loved the new guitar and signed an endorsement deal and that my six string buddies, is how the Gibson Les Paul was born. A 1959 Gibson Les Paul is top condition
will easily fetch upto ?300,000. There was only 1,600 made.
In 1948, Capitol Records released a recording that had begun as an experiment in Paul's garage, entitled "Lover (When You're Near Me)", this song had some pretty cutting edge guitar parts on it. Which featured Paul playing eight different parts on electric guitar, some of them recorded at half-speed, hence "double-fast" when played back at normal speed for the master!
In 1945 Les met a country sing named Colleen Summers, who changed went by the stage name of Mary Ford and the famous duo went on to dominate the radio waves. Mostly due to the amazing talent of Les. Not only would these songs have his signature guitar licks and sound but Les also used his ideas for vocals and the songs featured Ford harmonizing with herself.
Sadly though, on August 12, 2009 aged 94, Les Paul pass away. A lot of famous musicians will always leave some legacy behind but I guarantee none will ever leave one as vast & impressive as this guy.
Les created pickups, the Gibson Les Paul, multi track recording and played his music along side every major guitarist known to man, all through his life. Les Paul's mind was an uncharted place but when he unleashed his ideas, he would change music forever.
So my friends, grab a beer and raise your glass to an amazingly talented man and an insparation to all.
( I dont know how to add youtube videos to this post, so youll have to go without haha) ;-)