Nov 192015

In 1988, a concert filmed live in New York City for Les Paul took place as a celebration of his career to date.

The show featured performances of the music that earned Les more than 30 gold records—and some choice friends, including B.B. King, Steve Miller, Stanley Jordan and Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour.

Les was 73 at the time and he hadn’t lost a step. He took the stage with his Recording Model Les Paul equipped with the “Les Pulverizer,” a curious black box-shaped tape echo device fixed to the guitar. The effect, which was created by Les, allowed him to achieve his desired on-stage tones and recreate parts from his studio recordings that otherwise would be impossible to archive.

In the first of the two clips below, we get the energetic finale of “Lover,” Paul’s futuristic version of a Rogers & Hart song. He originally recorded the song in 1947 after experimenting in his home studio; the recording featured eight electric guitar parts, all played by Les. The record is now recognized in music history as the first multi-track recording.

Eddie Van Halen joins Les onstage in the second clip and pays tribute in words and music, beginning his performance with echo-laced patterns and phrases as a nod to the role Paul played in the creation of the effect. Tony Levin, Jan Hammer and Rick Marotta then team up with EVH for an explosive instrumental version of “Hot for Teacher,” which ends with Eddie asking the crowd, “See what this guy started?”

The full concert can be seen as part of VHS release Les Paul: He Changed the Music. It covers Les’ accomplishments as a musical innovator and inventor as well as a performer.

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A short clip of Les Paul live onstage in 1988, showing that as well as being an icon and an innovator, he was also no slouch when it came to fast playing either. #Guitar #ForgottenGuitar #ClassicGuitar #GuitarLegends #LesPaul #GibsonLesPaul #Gibson #80s

Posted by Forgotten Guitar on Sunday, November 15, 2015

Jonathan Graham is an ACM UK graduate based in London studying under the likes of Guthrie Govan and Pete Friesen. He is the creator of the Forgotten Guitar Facebook page, a classic-guitar media website, and is completing his debut album, Protagonist, due for release in 2016. Updates also can be found at Graham’s YouTube channel.

Additional Content

Forgotten Guitar: Les Paul’s Incredible Rendition of “Lover” Live in New York City in 1988 — Video
Source: Guitar World