Years ago, my first serious boyfriend gave me an old vinyl single of Les Paul and Mary Fordâ€™s How High The Moon. He told me I just had to hear it, and he was right.
Les Paul passed away today, and a minute of googling will bring up loving tributes from just about everyone in the music industry, including Bo. Itâ€™s not a stretch at all to say that without Lesâ€™ innovations in guitar and recording technology, the music we love wouldnâ€™t sound the same, either in person or on a record. Whatâ€™s going to stick with me, though, is his incredible passion for performing. He was one of those people who simply had to play in order to live. As a young man, his right arm was crushed in a car accident â€“ he had the doctors set and pin it at a permanent 90 degree angle, so he could still hold a guitar. As an older man, arthritis crippled his fingers â€“ he taught himself how to play with them straight.
Les Paul never stopped making music â€œuntil they rolled him down the hill in a pine box.â€ Hereâ€™s hoping that somewhere, his hands are strong and free again.