You may have heard, but Les Paul died today. The guy was really old, so it’s probably not a huge shock. It was more shocking to me that until recently he was still performing on a regular basis.
I saw the movie Les Paul Chasing Sound recently, though, and his accomplishments and story are truly mindblowing. Most people know that he invented multi-tracking and the solid body guitar. You might even know that when he lost mobility in his right arm, he had it permanently placed in an L-shape so he could continue playing guitar.
Here’s one thing that people often overlook: He recorded most of material with his wife, Mary Ford, when his homemade multitrack technology was still very primitive. While he could overdub on top of a recording, he recorded over everything as we went. Which meant that everything had to be done perfectly on the FIRST TAKE or else he lost everything. Think about that when youÂ hear this song, which spent 25 weeks at the #1 position.
Another fact: Les and Mary would travel and use various houses for sale as temporary recording studios, using hallways and bathroomsÂ for natural reverb, similar to what Will told MotorCityRocks today when talking about the Zoos of Berlin album. Les Paul’s subtle influence strikes again.