Tag Archives: Les Paul

Big Brother knows what I like

Big Brother’s steady incursions into my privacy have had one beneficial effect: whenever I go to a website with those ads for the zZounds music store, I get bombarded with images of Les Paul-style electric guitars, both of the Epiphone and Gibson varieties. That’s because, for me, guitar ads are the same thing as Page Six girls, and I can’t resist looking even though I can’t afford any of them.

What’s impressive to me is that whatever programming thingy is used on the ads remembers my predilections so thoroughly: the images are always those great, womanly-shaped Les Paul models, even the lower-priced numbers Ibanez puts out. (Look at this Artist model and tell me you don’t want to give it a try.) Only once did I accidentally click on a Fender model, which meant Strats and Teles were sown through the Les Pauls for a while, but now they’re pretty much gone. I can’t deny the appeal of a Stratocaster, but Big Brother knows what makes my heart go pitter-pat.

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Les Paul

Les Paul, master musician and inventor, died today at 94. If that much-abused word “legend” could be applied to anyone, it would be Les Paul.

As a legend, he was remarkably accessible. For years you could see him doing a regular Monday night gig at Iridium in New York, often with superstar guests sitting in. If you never got to see Les Paul in action, it wasn’t for lack of opportunity.

I realize that Leo Fender has his towering place in the history of the electric guitar, but to me those Les Paul designs will always be the first image that comes into my head whenever I hear the words “electric guitar.”

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