Classic interview with guitarist and innovator Les Paul – “Leo wanted me to be partners with him, for it to be the Fender guitar: the Les Paul Fender”

Back in 2009, Guitarist magazine published a huge tribute feature to Les Paul, who died on 12 August that year. Spanning his early life, musical and technical achievements, it explored the legacy left by The Wizard Of Waukesha.

Les was 93 years old when the interview took place. While his speech had slowed somewhat, his sense of enthusiasm was absolutely unabated.

Les, it’s a great pleasure to talk to you, thank you for taking the time today. Tell us, are you still playing the Iridium every Monday night?

“Still! Every Monday.”

What are your favourite songs to play?

“Well we have a lot of guests that come up on the stage – anyone could walk up on that stage. It can be Paul McCartney, it could be Keith Richards… you could go on naming them for hours. Jeff Beck… who knows? Over here you may have an astronaut that comes up and we won’t play any songs at all, we’ll be talking.

“So it’s a wide variety. Interesting this question that you ask, I was told here a couple of weeks ago that some rock guitar player got up on the stage and the rest of the band got up and walked off – they won’t even play with one another. But I welcome an eight-year-old kid to come up and see what he’s got – whether I can encourage him to play, just sort of run a curve on him y’know.

“Our music is generally the music I would play way back when I was in the record business. So I’ll play World Waiting For The Sunrise and How High The Moon, maybe Over The Rainbow, some standards. But it depends upon the artist that comes up – if people like a certain kind of music, I will focus the show that way. Whoever walks up on to the stage is the star – he is the picture, we are the frame. The frame is there to make the star look better – let’s make this fellow the best he’s ever going to be.”

Les Paul
Slash & Les Paul during Gibson Guitars Honors Rock ‘N Roll Legend Les Paul for 50th Anniversary Celebration at Iridium in New York City, August, 2001

You mentioned the example of a young kid coming up to play, and you’d try to encourage him. What can you remember about the first time you started to play, and how you were encouraged?

“To me it was like a disaster to play on a radio station, then go over to a large theatre and walk out there and perform! I’d never done either prior to that. To walk out on the stage the first time, you’re really going fishin’.



If you interest with unique Guitar, Call Us.

Batiksoul founded by Guge Nugroho.
Most of the wood material comes from the best Indonesian solidwood and 80% is indonesian exotic woods.
for nearly 2 years ( 2012-2014) research how to apply natural dyeing batik on 2.5mm solidwood media such as solid spruce, solid mahogany, maple, and solid mango.
Trials need to be carried out to find out effect the batik process has sound quality and resonance on solidwood instrument.
Since 2011 Batiksoul owned by more than 200 collector, musician and guitarist in the world.

Open chat
Hello 👋
Can we help you?