October 11, 2009 |
It may not be an Arthurian tale of Sir Percival in pursuit of the Holy Grail, but Tony Bacon's "Million Dollar Les Paul" (Jawbone: 288 pp., $19.95 paper) is still about a romantic quest. The object of his interest? The 1959 sunburst Les Paul electric guitar -- an instrument used by Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Michael Bloomfield, Billy Gibbons, Peter Green and many other knights of the rock round table. Its craftsmanship, explains the author (whose other books include "The Fender Electric Guitar Book" and "Electric Guitars: The Illustrated Encyclopedia")
August 22, 2009 |
Family members, longtime friends and music fans of all ages lined up Friday at a public visitation for Les Paul, the inventor whose creation of the first solid-body electric guitar helped pave the way for rock 'n' roll. Adam Bollinger never got a chance to see Paul play live. But the 15-year-old from Plainfield, Ill., knows how important Paul was to rock 'n' roll. That's why he and his mother, Coleen Bollinger, drove 2 1/2 hours to be among the first in line. "It's just about me paying respects and being here for him," Bollinger said.
August 17, 2009 |
There's a moment in the documentary "It Might Get Loud" when Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page, while sitting with fellow guitarists Jack White and the Edge, reaches for his Gibson Les Paul to play a thundering "Whole Lotta Love." The solid-body guitar remains the model of choice for Page and many of rock's leading players, and is the enduring legacy of the late guitarist and inventor Les Paul. "It was like a throwdown," director Davis Guggenheim said of that moment in his film. "It was like, 'I'm done talking.
August 16, 2009 |
For a teenage guitar slinger in the 1970s, it was the most coveted of instruments: a Gibson Les Paul. In the hands of Duane Allman, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Pete Townsend and countless others, it defined the hard-rock sound of the day. I had to have one. Trouble was, Les Pauls could cost nearly twice as much as other name-brand electric guitars. Crafted largely by hand and outfitted with hum-bucking pickups that hammered out sound with the effortless power of a Detroit V-8, Les Pauls were built for concert stages, not San Fernando Valley garages.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 14, 2009 |
Les Paul, the virtuoso guitarist, entertainer and relentless innovator whose drive to produce the sounds he wanted from his recordings and instruments helped pave the way for rock 'n' roll, died today. He was 94. Paul died of complications from pneumonia at White Plains Hospital in New York state, said a spokesperson for the Gibson Guitar Co. He had been in failing health for some time. Paul was popularly known for a series of hit songs recorded in the 1950s with his wife, singer Mary Ford, including "How High the Moon" and "Vaya Con Dios."
May 2, 2009 |
Signature guitars of the rock 'n' roll era -- candy-colored Fender Stratocasters, slab-bodied Fender Telecasters, flame-topped Gibson Les Pauls and voluptuously shaped Gretsch hollow bodies -- are symbols of a uniquely American pop culture that continues to excite guitar enthusiasts. But aside from their nostalgia value, they've proved to be good investments.