I should have gone to see him when I was in New York. I was told that he was playing in a basement type bar somewhere, maybe the Iridium Jazz Club, and a friend of mine asked If I wanted to see him. Of course I said yes, who would want to miss out on seeing the great Les Paul. As it turned out, I couldn’t right then and I missed my chance. He was an icon and a hero of mine. He was a very creative person and did not let things stand in his way. I was told you would never know who would show up to join in the jam session.
Life and times
An inventor in mind and spirit, beginning at the young age of 13, he was playing a working prototype of an electric guitar in 1929, always experimenting with the sound. He is the father of the electric solid body guitar. Taking music and changing it to make it better with the introduction of the first eight track tape recording 1956. He played both jazz and country music with various artists, while he was inventing things. I think he did what he loved to do with his life, a great example for us all. Among his other awards, Les was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988 and he also was an American Music Masters Honoree in 2008.
In 1948 he was in a car accident that shattered his right arm and elbow and they told him he may never play again. He had them set his arm at an angle so he could still play his guitar. What an amazing story!
I missed my chance to see him and it would have been awesome. The Les Paul Guitar is one of the most important instruments to have in your arsenal, its sound is like no other. You can definitely tell the difference, it has much more bass and a deep sound than any other guitar. I wish he had more freedom so we could have benefited from his talent even more. He modified his own guitar to the point of making it almost unrecognizable. I think we will keep learning from him for many years to come.