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Wednesday

Les Paul's Dec. '77 GP Interview, REQUIRED READING!

In my recent retrospective of GP's Dec '77 issue, I made only a passing reference to Jon Sievert's interview with Les Paul; the cover feature.

Yesterday I read it and am blown away! First of all, kudo's to Jon Sievert for one of the most extensive pieces I've ever read-- Sievert really did his homework. Although there are a number of documentaries and written works on Les Paul, this item is an absolute MUST read. Besides a thorough & well prepared intro, the actual interview reveals a great deal about how the music and recording business & technology came about. It also reveals the character of a man who doesn't include the word "can't" in his vocabulary.

Les Paul has been involved in many areas with many key people, and you'll be surprised at whom. What I found most compelling was how the interview captured the humor and attitude of the man. I found myself cracking up several times as LP described various scenarios and challenges in which he simply had to think on his feet and see things through. His approach always seemed to incorporate a non-serious "Let's just wing it!" spirit of play which ultimately pioneered countless advances & accomplishments, and reflects a life of adventure and strong interest in creating. Only one example of many is the story of how LP & Chet Atkins' Grammy winning "Chester and Lester" album was made.

Most people know of Les Paul as a good musician and a key individual to the design & evolution of the electric guitar & playing the instrument-- particularly his namesake models by Gibson. Others are also aware that LP is responsible for multi-track recording. And even though just those things seem like more than enough accomplishments, in some ways they are just the tip of the iceberg.

Les Paul was 61 at the time of Sievert's interview with him (1977). At that time, people generally considered 61 old. Today, with Clapton & The Stones well into their 60's, BB King & Hugh Hefner performing in their 80's, and yes, Les Paul still doing it in his 90's, we see a shift in perspective. Here in 2009, teenagers are picking up the electric guitar like never before, and still rocking out too-- the Les Paul & Stratocaster guitars are STILL the standard of the instrument and Electro-Harmonix continues to produce & sell the same Big Muff distortion boxes they did over 30 years ago.

We've seen a lot of change too, but how certain things have endured reflects the timeless spirit which art graces upon the people and things that matter most.

Fortunately, GP has kept this interview available online for everyone. Please CLICK HERE and read it for the pure inspiration! I promise that you'll be amazed! We rarely see interviews this good about people at this level from any era.


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