Further to my theme I started earlier this week on my tributes to some of the most influential electric guitar players who are no longer with us, this post is my humble tribute to the late Lester William Polsfuss (aka “Les Paul”). Now some of you may not know who Les Paul was or exactly why he had such a major influence on the electric guitar. You might say, come on Splash shouldn’t you be writing about Jimi Hendrix’s (which I will be in a future posting) or John Lennon perhaps, but Les Paul? Yes Les Paul! Les Paul is without doubt the corner-stone in the creative development of the solid body electric guitar as an instrument as we know it; especially as it relates to the electric guitar known as the “Gibson Les Paul”. There were certainly a number of people who experiment and contributed to the development of the electric guitar, however the work done by Les Paul had a major influence on so many music genres (Blues, Country, Jazz, etc.) and certainly on the development of Rock and Roll as we know it. One just has to read the multitude of tributes that were stated by many of today’s lead electric guitar players upon the death of Les Paul at the age of 94 on August 12th, 2009 to get a feel how important he was. The Edge of U2, Slash of the former band Guns and Roses, Peter Frampton, Jeff Beck, Richie Sambora, Steve Miller and many others had tremendous respect for Les Paul and the many innovations he was involved with in the develop of the electric guitar and how it could be played. The website Wikipedia has a lot of really good information and links relate to Les Paul so I’ll give you that link for you to learn more about him if you’re so interested: Les Paul Wiki link
I’ve decided to add to this post two separate YouTube video’s of Les Paul performing; the first from the film by John Paulson Productions called “Les Paul Chasing Sound” Les Paul Film link that is about ten minutes in length and gives some really good background information on Les Paul, and the second one is a tribute video to Les Paul on his 90 Birthday with him performing the song “Sleepwalk”. Both are absolutely wonderful and I’m so glad they are available to be watched on the internet. Please take a look and offer a comment or two if you like. Enjoy!