A conservatory of Ldotter blogs.

Monday, May 16, 2005

I can't imagine. . .

. . .what took so long in inducting Les Paul into the National Inventer's Hall of Fame. As far as I'm concerned, Alexander Graham Bell can keep his telephone. It's caused me no end of misery over the years. Les Paul, however, has provided me with countless hours of joy.

Yes, some people swear by Fender, and there's not a thing wrong with that. The Stratocaster and the Telecaster will always be part of the musical landscape. But, the Gibson Les Paul is one of the most beautiful instruments ever created, both in appearance and in tone. No serious guitarist should be without one.

It's almost hard for me to fathom the cultural impact Paul has made on the world. Though some may still lament its inception, rock n' roll is a nearly ubiquitous presence in the world. People tried to kill it in its infancy, and people continue to try to stamp it out to this very day -- the hapless Taliban, for example. But it can't be done.

Were it not for Les Paul's genius, it might still be relegated to Mississippi Delta beer joints. But, because of one little note passed to him during a performance, Les made it possible for rock n' roll to be played in massive arenas, football stadiums, and outdoor amphitheaters around the globe. Loudly. And, even at this late stage of life -- my mid-thirties -- I still love it loud. And, I love it best when it's played on a Les Paul.

I love the Les Paul so much that once, when I was trying my hand at woodcarving, the first thing I made (after the obligatory small box for the top of the dresser to hold change and broken watches) was a miniature Gibson Les Paul, carved out of a piece of maple. I worked on it for weeks, whittling and sanding for hours a day, and it was a pretty damned fine little scale model, and almost finished, when I made the mistake of leaving it on my computer desk for a certain Italian Greyhound to discover.

Incidentally, there aren't a whole lot of taxidermists in western Kentucky who do work on Italian Greyhounds.

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