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February 15, 2014 | By Ryan Faughnder
What does a company do when it retrieves government-confiscated building materials? If that company is Gibson Guitar Corp., it makes guitars from it. Late last year, the 120-year-old Nashville music company released a limited series of Les Paul, Explorer, SG and Flying V six-string guitars with fingerboards made from wood that federal agents had seized in factory raids. The company produced 750 instruments for that first batch, which quickly sold out. Responding to continued demand, Gibson this year released about 1,000 more Government Series guitars, which sold out "in minutes," according to Chief Executive Henry Juszkiewicz.  PHOTOS: Daughters of rock stars   "We kept getting calls, and we had wood left over," said Juszkiewicz, 60. Those who still want to get their hands on a Government Series Gibson guitar might have to resort to EBay, though.
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ENTERTAINMENT
February 15, 2014 | By Ryan Faughnder
What does a company do when it retrieves government-confiscated building materials? If that company is Gibson Guitar Corp., it makes guitars from it. Late last year, the 120-year-old Nashville music company released a limited series of Les Paul, Explorer, SG and Flying V six-string guitars with fingerboards made from wood that federal agents had seized in factory raids. The company produced 750 instruments for that first batch, which quickly sold out. Responding to continued demand, Gibson this year released about 1,000 more Government Series guitars, which sold out "in minutes," according to Chief Executive Henry Juszkiewicz.  PHOTOS: Daughters of rock stars   "We kept getting calls, and we had wood left over," said Juszkiewicz, 60. Those who still want to get their hands on a Government Series Gibson guitar might have to resort to EBay, though.
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ENTERTAINMENT
February 14, 2006 | Randy Lewis
Guitar great and last week's double Grammy winner Les Paul was released from the hospital Saturday and is now home and "feeling much better," a spokeswoman for his record company said Monday. Paul, 90, had been hospitalized in New Jersey for about a week with pneumonia, which forced him to miss Wednesday's Grammy Awards ceremony, where he won in pop and rock instrumental categories. -- Randy Lewis
ENTERTAINMENT
February 13, 2014 | By Randy Lewis
Rock guitar hero Jeff Beck remembers falling in love for the first time. "I'd only ever seen Spanish-style or jazz guitars, and then I saw a Stratocaster," said Beck, 69, of his schoolboy crush. "I was fascinated by the shape, the double cutaways; it was all too cool. It had all these pickups and knobs and controls - it embodied all the excitement of modern living. "A few years later I saw one in London hanging in a window, and the guy let me try it on," said the former member of the Yardbirds.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 7, 2006 | Geoff Boucher
A bout with pneumonia has forced guitar hero Les Paul to miss his all-star 90th birthday celebration concert tonight at the Gibson Amphitheatre, but the show will go on as a salute to the guitar and recording innovator. Paul is expected to be released in the next few days from Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, N.J., his son, Russ, said Monday. Les Paul was hospitalized Friday after X-rays revealed fluid in his lungs.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 3, 2008 | From the Associated Press
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will pay tribute to the "father of the electric guitar" this fall. Les Paul will be honored at the annual American Music Masters series, a weeklong event that begins Nov. 10, Rock Hall officials said Tuesday. A tribute concert is scheduled for Nov. 15 at Cleveland's State Theater. Paul, 93, is hoping to attend, said Rock Hall President Terry Stewart.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 28, 2006 | Randy Lewis
Guitar innovator Les Paul, possibly this year's only living Grammy nominee who had hit records before there were any Grammy Awards, will give a Grammy-week concert at the Gibson Amphitheatre with a slew of his admirers and musical disciples. Buddy Guy, Merle Haggard, Alison Krauss, Edgar Winter, Joe Satriani, Neal Schon and others will take part in the "Les Paul & Friends: 90th Birthday Salute" on Feb. 7, for which proceeds will benefit A Place Called Hope, a South L.A.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 1, 1998 | NATALIE NICHOLS, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
As compelling as it was to see Les Paul, the inventor of the solid-body electric guitar, paired onstage with such modern guitar heroes as Slash and Steve Vai, the best part of Wednesday's House of Blues extravaganza celebrating the venerable musician came when the Les Paul Trio had the spotlight to itself. "Do you play guitar?" the quick-witted Paul, 82, asked a good-natured heckler early in the first of the evening's two sets. "No," the man said. "Then what are you doing here?" Paul replied.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 8, 2005 | Paul Lieberman, Times Staff Writer
Two hours before show time, the band at the Iridium was sound-checking with a song that's been around awhile, "Misty," the singer going "I'm too misty / And too much in love" before the lead guitarist took over, the fingers of his left hand sliding down the neck of the electric guitar to end the tune with a flurry of high notes, a little show-off riff.
BOOKS
June 13, 1993 | Michael Haederle, Michael Haederle, a free - lance writer in Alamada, N.M., played a Gibson Les Paul guitar for 17 years
Americans have always had a genius for innovation in their popular music, a talent expressed in constantly evolving musical forms and in the endless invention and adaptation of instruments suitable to those forms. Musical form often has dictated function, as when the first musician coaxed blue notes out of a harmonica and gave birth to the blues harp. But with the advent of electronic instruments, it has also been the case that technical advances pave the way for radical changes in the music.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 28, 2013 | By Randy Lewis
This post has been updated. See note below for details. Four of the key bands from the 1960s British Invasion were represented Friday in Anaheim when the Who's lead guitarist and main songwriter, Pete Townshend, was given the Les Paul Award at the annual TEC Awards ceremony, part of the annual NAMM music products convention . Townshend was serenaded by Eric Burdon of the Animals, who sang “The Seeker,” while ex-Beatle Paul McCartney...
NATIONAL
September 27, 2011 | By Neela Banerjee
Two dozen federal agents outfitted with side arms and bulletproof vests strode past a display of electric guitars signed by Joan Jett and Slash of Guns 'N' Roses and quickly seized control of the cavernous guitar factory. Some workers were caught sanding guitar bodies. Others held newly painted guitars between their bellies and cloth-covered wax wheels, gently swaying and pushing as they buffed the instrument in some kind of tuneless dance. Turn off your machines and go home, they were ordered.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 11, 2009 | Nick Owchar
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")
ENTERTAINMENT
August 22, 2009 | Associated Press
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 17, 2009 | Steve Appleford
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.
BUSINESS
August 16, 2009 | John Corrigan
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 24, 1991 | CHRIS WILLMAN
"Wow! So that's what you've been doing out in the garage! But what the hell is it?!?" This, according to the liner notes of Les Paul's new four-CD retrospective box, was the reaction of singer Mary Ford upon first hearing his 1947 recording of "Lover," which inaugurated Paul's Capitol career. Her reaction is understandable.
NEWS
February 9, 2006 | Josh Kun, Special to The Times
DUE to his hospitalization with pneumonia earlier this week, 90-year-old electric guitar icon Les Paul was unable to attend his own Tuesday-night tribute concert at the Gibson Amphitheatre. Which might not have been such a bad thing.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 14, 2009 | Geoff Boucher and Claudia Luther, Luther is a former Times staff writer.
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."
ENTERTAINMENT
May 2, 2009 | Michael Albo
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.
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