LES PAUL

13 August 2009

I just heard Les Paul died :-(

My first guitar was a very good Les Paul copy.  I put on DiMarzio twin humbuckers myself — adding an extra toggle switch.  The action was incredibly low, the frets were minimal, and it had great sustain as it weighed a metric tonne. I used 8 gauge strings back then, Jeez.

I went on from there, and it was always Les Paul.  I tried the SG, but came back to LP.  For years I tried Fender guitars and just couldn’t connect — especially with maple necks.  A rosewood Les Paul was my choice.

The downside was not having a Twang bar (whammy or tremolo arm), slide was out unless you could afford two and raise the action on one of them! And they weighed. Much. After a gig you needed an osteopath.

I eventually made the switch to a Strat — but I still miss the playability and ease of the Les Paul. I suppose I would really love an ES335… maybe one day… the 335 seems to be able to do everything, a good compromise instrument.

You have to take your hat off to old Les — what an influence on the world of music and engineering.  He was very technically minded, mechanically, electrically, electronically and acoustically. He developed instruments, parts and techniques that are everywhere today.  The layered overdub, the delay — loads of effects.

If there was a genius in modern music, it was Les Paul.  He made good business too — from selling records to selling guitars. The man was a brand, a signature — a safe, dependable and quality name… and that speaks volumes nowadays.

RIP Les – you made it to 94, but you will live forever really!

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