Forums > Personal > Les Paul, dead at 94

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Micrówave user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 13 Aug 09, 13:02 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Paul died in White Plains, New York, from complications of severe pneumonia, according to the statement.

Paul was a guitar and electronics mastermind whose creations -- such as multitrack recording, tape delay and the solid-body guitar that bears his name, the Gibson Les Paul -- helped give rise to modern popular music, including rock 'n' roll. No slouch on the guitar himself, he continued playing at clubs into his 90s despite being hampered by arthritis.

"If you only have two fingers [to work with], you have to think, how will you play that chord?" he told CNN.com in a 2002 phone interview. "So you think of how to replace that chord with several notes, and it gives the illusion of sounding like a chord."

"The world has lost a truly innovative and exceptional human being today. I cannot imagine life without Les Paul," said Henry Juszkiewicz, Chairman and CEO of Gibson Guitar. "He would walk into a room and put a smile on anyone's face. His musical charm was extraordinary and his techniques unmatched anywhere in the world."

Lester William Polfuss was born in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on June 9, 1915. Even as a child he showed an aptitude for tinkering, taking apart electric appliances to see what made them tick.

"I had to build it, make it and perfect it," Paul said in 2002. He was nicknamed the "Wizard of Waukesha."
In the 1930s and '40s, he played with the bandleader Fred Waring and several big band singers, including Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and the Andrews Sisters, as well as with his own Les Paul Trio. In the early 1950s, he had a handful of huge hits with his then-wife, Mary Ford, such as "How High the Moon" and "Vaya Con Dios."
His guitar style, heavily influenced by jazzman Django Reinhardt, featured lightning-quick runs and double-time rhythms. In 1948, after being involved in a severe car accident, he asked the doctor to set his arm permanently in a guitar-playing position.

Paul also credited Crosby for teaching him about timing, phrasing and preparation.

Crosby "didn't say it, he did it -- one time only. Unless he blew the lyrics, he did one take."
Paul never stopped tinkering with electronics, and after Crosby gave him an early audiotape recorder, Paul went to work changing it. It eventually led to multitrack recording; on Paul and Ford's hits, he plays many of the guitar parts, and Ford harmonizes with herself. Multitrack recording is now the industry standard.

But Paul likely will be best remembered for the Gibson Les Paul, a variation on the solid-body guitar he built in the early 1940s -- "The Log" -- and offered to the guitar company.

"For 10 years, I was a laugh," he told CNN in an interview. "[But] kept pounding at them and pounding at them saying hey, here's where it's at. Here's where tomorrow, this is it. You can drown out anybody with it. And you can make all these different sounds that you can't do with a regular guitar."

Gibson, spurred by rival Fender, finally took Paul up on his offer and introduced the model in 1952. It has since become the go-to guitar for such performers as Jimmy Page.

Paul is enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Grammy Hall of Fame, the Inventors Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He is survived by three sons, a daughter, five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Until recently he had a standing gig at New York's Iridium Jazz Club, where he would play with a who's-who of famed musicians.


Major Tom user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 13 Aug 09, 13:06 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Sad news. One of my favourite guitars...RIP Les


It´s better to burn out than to fade away.
Raf user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 13 Aug 09, 13:20 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

A true genius, in at least 3 different areas...


We got the Cosmos rockin'!

We got the Cosmos rockin'!

We got the Universe rockin'!

We got the Cosmos rockin'!

We got the Cosmos rockin' to the mighty power of rock'n'roll!
Mr Mercury user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 13 Aug 09, 13:24 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Another good man bites the dust.

Goodbye Lester Polfuss and thanks for the iconic guitar!!


"Normally i can't dance to save my life.

But as soon as I step in dog shit, I can moonwalk better than Michael Jackson."
thomasquinn 32989 user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 13 Aug 09, 14:17 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

My goodness. You'd almost forget he was was alive, not to mention that he could die, considering the legend he already was in life.



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Posted: 13 Aug 09, 14:26 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I have been visiting NY twice a year for some time now and just love the city - I have a relative there - and expect to be back to this wonderful city very soon. There's no place I like better in this world.

This is so sad. And it's another part of NYC which fades away.

R.I.P Les Paus and my condolences to New Yorkers here on Queenzone. He was part of the city's landscape already! I watched him play a couple of times.   

He was a delight to watch. I never talked to him, of course, but he came across as a wonderful person. I'd hang around the Washington Square, discuss some nonsense about politics with a guy who'd always do his best to get down my throat by spitting out some vitriolic anti-semitic rubbish, do some browsing at the Strand and then walk up the Broadway - quite a stretch! - to catch a gig at the Iridium whenever time allowed. It's always been a nice jazz club to go, alongside the Jazz Standard in Midtown, when I didn't feel like going to the Village.

He kept playing for as long as he could and it was always a bless for the soul to watch him.

May he rest in peace.


Yara
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Posted: 13 Aug 09, 15:09 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Shit.  Stupid as it sounds, I never thought it'd happen.


"Your not funny, your not a good musician, theres a difference between being funny and being an idiot, you obviously being the latter" - Dave R Fuller
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Posted: 13 Aug 09, 15:44 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I never thought it would happen yet. He's almost immortal in some way.

Well, his guitars will be immortal. A true legacy.

He was a legend before death, now he's an even bigger legend.

Died at 94... At least he lived a LONG and for-filling life. He'll be forever remembered. You just need to pick up a Les Paul guitar and bingo.

R.I.P Lester Polsfuss.




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Posted: 13 Aug 09, 16:21 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

every rockstar today has les to thank for giving them their legacy.


RIP Les- a fantastic legend. thank you for giving us the music, the gateway to an era. you will be missed, but never forgotten!



"why pay the visit when the visit is free?"
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Posted: 13 Aug 09, 19:28 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

This actually choked me up... A great loss.



"The tri-tone is the Devil's interval, and he demands resolution." - Richard Lloyd
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Posted: 13 Aug 09, 20:46 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Poor les Paul.... it was his time... 94 years!!!!!!!


P.A
The Mir@cle user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 14 Aug 09, 06:00 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



QueenPaulo wrote:

Poor les Paul.... it was his time... 94 years!!!!!!!

Someone who becomes this old, has actually been a very rich human being.


I got to try al little more,

because I'm an asshole but I'm learning.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NfTLkUcQ7QY
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Posted: 14 Aug 09, 13:27 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



The Mir@cle wrote:



 



QueenPaulo wrote:



Poor les Paul.... it was his time... 94 years!!!!!!!


Someone who becomes this old, has actually been a very rich human being.







yeah...


P.A