by Robert Wilkinson
Today would have been the 99th birthday of one of the world's greatest innovators, Les Paul. He took primitive electric guitars, invented the modern form we all know and love today, and changed the world of music forever.
I didn't really have time to assemble many clips of this amazing talent and inventor who inspired countless musicians and guitar pickers, but I found a few that are classic! As it was put in his obit four years ago,
Keith Richards, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Eddie Van Halen and Slash are just some of the players who have raised and praised the guitar during their careers. Richards, of the Rolling Stones, said Thursday that "all of us owe an unimaginable debt to his work and his talent," while Joe Satriani, whose searing solos sound like cosmic noise compared with Paul's vinyl hits, put the nonagenarian's passing in terms that even the youngest music fan could understand: "He was the original guitar hero."
So here are a few great performances by the Master of the Electric Guitar!
From the 1954 Colgate Comedy Hour, Les Paul and Mary Ford live on video giving us a medley of "I Really Don't Want to Know", "There's no Place Like Home", and "Tiger Rag"
From 1951, Les and Mary live cranking out “How High the Moon”
From 1978, Chet Atkins and Les Paul! “Limehouse Blues” and “Chet’s Folding Guitar”
From the late 70s, 10 minutes of Les Paul live and brilliant! Les Paul – Live and Magnificent (the last minute is astonishing! He was faster than Richie Blackmore or Jimmy Page!)
From 1991, Les Paul live cranking out “Caravan”
From his 90th birthday live in NY, here’s Les Paul giving us the classic “Sleepwalk”
For our closer, here's a brief documentary on this remarkable man who gave us rock and roll! "Chasing Sound - Les Paul"
Les Paul (June 9, 1915 – August 13, 2009) and Leo Fender (August 10, 1909 – March 21, 1991) were the two innovators that created the modern electric guitar. So if you've ever picked up an electric guitar, or ever listened to one of your favorite bands, you owe a debt of gratitude to the amazing Les Paul.
© Copyright 2014 Robert Wilkinson