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Les Paul

6.9.15 – 8.12.09

Les Paul

I met Les 25 years ago when he had first started to perform in public again after taking a few years off. He was appearing at a small club in downtown New York City called Fat Tuesday’s, and his playing was just about the best I had ever heard, and his trio with Lou Pallo on rhythm guitar and Gary Mazzaroppi on bass was the most refreshing sound to ever enter my ears. I had heard Les’ records when I was 6 years old. My father would show me the chords to the songs and I would play along, so I was no stranger to his music when I met him. His music is what set me off to become a professional guitarist.

Les had dozens of million-selling hit songs. He was a pop star. Les as we all know invented sound-on-sound recording as well as the solid-body electric guitar. This, coupled with his incredible ability as a guitarist and musician, is what launched his fame. And let us not forget that sound-on-sound recording allowed musicians to overdub, but they would only get one shot at those additional tracks. So if you made a mistake you had to start the song all over again. For example, say you record a rhythm-guitar track first, then a melody track, then a harmony track and then a bass track. If you made a mistake on any of these tracks, you would have to start recording the first rhythm-guitar track again. You could not fix notes and cut and paste parts or even re-record any of the previous tracks. This is where Les excelled. The creative, intense arrangements of his hits, the multitracked vocals, the insane amount of guitar parts: Each of those tracks was recorded in one take! This is what proves to me the magnitude of Les’ talents as a musician, producer, engineer and guitarist. He was like no one else.

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