Les Paul, The Legend that Changed the Guitar!

In light of today being the birth date of Lester Polsfuss, or his more widely recognized name, Les Paul… we decided to join the recognition and share our own tribute. Also, if you have not seen the special Google Les Paul homepage, its really worth a few minutes of your time to see.

Lester William Polsfuss (June 9, 1915 – August 12, 2009), better known to many as simply “Les Paul”, an incredibly talented musician, songwriter & inventor & a leading pioneer in the development of the solid body electric guitar.

The Gibson Les Paul in it’s many variants & guises is widely acknowledged as THE guitar of Rock & Roll, however, Les himself was an acclaimed jazz & country guitarist, he was without doubt a phenomenal technician & wizard on the guitar fretboard employing a wide & varied arsenal of tricks, taste & techniques that to this day leave fellow guitarists open mouthed at his accuracy & prowess.

Les’s early employment of multi-tracking, phasing, overdubbing etc attracted a very wide audience & together with his wife Mary Ford went on to have many multi million selling records, even with the advancement in recording techniques & the personal technical development of many of todays leading guitarists Les is right there at the pinnacle of the pyramid.

It is a testament to his enduring talent & design skills that the Gibson Les Paul is in production to this day with most people dropping the word “Gibson” & simply asking for a “Les Paul”, a close scrutiny of Gibson production for the last 15 years will clearly demonstrate the dominance the Les Paul guitar has on the marketplace, it is also a fact that Gibson can roll out a never ending line of artist endorsed Les Paul’s & almost all will be a commercial success with some quadrupling in value within a few years, this wasn’t the case in 1961 when, due to market decline,Gibson changed the shape & design of the classic Les Paul, all without consulting Les, not being too pleased with this scenario Les demanded that his name be removed from the guitar, this was the birth of the Gibson SG & ended the glory years of the original run of the Gibson Les Paul

With the emergence of the major guitar players of the early mid 60s, Bloomfield, Beck, Clapton, Green, Page etc (all to have signature Les Paul’s in later years), the demand for the original guitars grew , Gibson finally reintroduced the Les Paul in 1968 & has dominated the Rick n Roll music scene ever since

Lester William Polsfuss RIP, Happy 94th Birthday Les

A Few Les Paul Guitars at Maverick Music

Do You Have any Memories to Share? If so, drop a comment in the box below… We would love to hear them, even if you just share your favorite Les Paul Guitar!