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Jeff Beck Dedicates Les Paul Room

Iridium, New York City; June 8, 2010

Last night, British guitar hero and lifelong Les Paul fan Jeff Beck paid loving tribute to the man at the Iridium nightclub as part of a gala ceremony commemorating the late guitarist-inventor’s 95th birthday. Before kicking off a marathon set that focused primarily on retro rockabilly fare and note-for-note recreations of several Les Paul-Mary Ford hits (featuring the amazing Dublin-born singer Imelda May), Beck presented a plaque to Iridium owner Ron Sturm and to Les’ son Rusty Paul in a brief ceremony dedicating the new Les Paul Room at Iridium.

With Les’ visage looming large over the proceedings-a new mural of blown-up photos depicting Paul at various stages of his illustrious career now adorns a wall facing the stage-Beck trotted out Les Paul-Mary Ford hits like “How High the Moon,” “I’m Sitting on Top of the World,” “Vaya Con Dios,” “Bye Bye Blues,” “I’m a Fool to Care,” “Hold That Tiger,” “The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise” and the cutesy ditty “Mockingbird Hill.” Vocalist May summoned up spine-tingling soulfulness on bluesy numbers (she slayed the audience on a rendition of Howlin’ Wolf’s “My Baby’s Dead and Gone”) and torch songs (she turned in a haunting rendition of Julie London’s “Cry Me a River”). And she channeled Mary Ford in stunning fashion on the hits, singing along with pre-recorded vocal backing tracks to recreate the multi-layered overdubbed sound of the original records.

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