Ed Driscoll.com Ed Driscoll.com
By Ed Driscoll · June 3, 2002 10:11 PM · All You Need Is Ears · Ed On The 'Net · From Bauhaus To Our House · The Substance of Style

Sorry for the lack of posting on Monday. But I spent my last full day in New York having lunch with my wife and a friend at the Four Seasons (my very favorite restaurant--there I said it--ever since I was a kid. It doesn't hurt that it was designed by Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson, or that the food is pretty good, too), followed by an interview with Les Paul, who's about to celebrate his 87th birthday next week.

To paraphrase Woody Allen's line to Groucho Marx, sorry I won't be able to attend your 87th birthday Les, but I expect you to be at mine!

My profile of Les Paul should appear soon in Catholic Exchange, and the quotes from my interview with him will help to flesh out the article I've been assigned by Vintage Guitar magazine on Gibson's Les Paul Custom electric guitar.

In the meantime, all I can say is that it's always wonderful to talk to a legend--here's a guy who's led several remarkable lives concurrently: he played guitar behind Bing Crosby in the 1940s, had numerous best selling records in the 1950s with his then wife, Mary Ford, and during the same decade, simultaneously help to design what would become (alongside the Fender Stratocaster) the greatest rock and blues electric guitar of all time (just ask Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Jeff Beck and Slash of Guns and Roses--they all played a Les Paul at one time or another), and also invented many of the music recording techniques that we take for granted today.

For the past twenty years, Les has played every Monday night in New York--first at a club called Fat Tuesday's, and since the early '90s, a club called the Iridium. Backed by two rhythm guitarists--Lou Pallo on electric (a Les Paul Custom, naturally) and Frank Vignola on acoustic, and Nicki Parrott on stand up bass, Les plays a variety of tunes from the 1940s and 50s--his own hits, plus those of Gershwin, Cole Porter, and other classic composers.

There's a real sense of history here. I can't help but think that the ghosts of great legendary guitarists Django Reinhardt, Charlie Christian (Les's development of the electric guitar seemed to have taken off when Christian's voice on the instrument was silenced by an untimely death from tuberculous in the early 1940s), Wes Montgomery (whom Paul knew) and Jimi Hendrix (who once called Paul for advice concerning his Electric Lady studios) are watching overhead as Les plays.

So many lives lived by one man--so much innovation. And so much great music!

Needless to say, I'll let you know when my actual articles about Les and the guitar he designed are available!

UPDATE: I tried to upload a photo of Les from the show, but Blogger's upload function is giving me fits, and I don't have the same FTP flexibility on this laptop that I do on my desktop PC at home. So stand by--I'll post a photo or two when mid-week, when I'm back at EdDriscoll.com Central.

Update: I later gave the article to Blogcritics during its very, very early days. It must have the longest ongoing comments section ever.

Since 2002, News, Technology and Pop Culture, 24 Hours a Day, Live and in Stereo!

(And every Saturday on Sirius XM Satellite Radio.)

What They're Saying

"Ed Driscoll beat me to this."--Glenn Reynolds, Instapundit.com, August 17, 2008

Twitter Feed
About Me


Support the Site


February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002


Bookmark Me!

Blogroll Me!

Steal This Button!

Syndicate this site (XML)
Podcasts Feed

AddThis Feed Button

AddThis Social Bookmark Button


Our Podcasts' Apple iTunes Page

Powered by
Movable Type 3.35

Site design by

tumblr site counter
Copyright © 2002-2008 Edward B. Driscoll, Jr. All Rights Reserved