GIBSON LES PAUL 50 YEARS OF THE, Half a Century of the Greatest Electric Guitars, Tony Bacon.

50 YEARS OF THE GIBSON LES PAUL, Half a Century of the Greatest Electric Guitars. Tony Bacon. 160 pagine.

Series: Book
Publisher: Backbeat Books
Medium: Softcover
Author: Tony Bacon

This exciting book documents the complete decade-by-decade story of one of the world's most important and influential electric guitars. The Gibson Les Paul turned 50 years old in 2002, and since its invention, its sweet, urgent sound has been used by a host of major rock players - from Eric Clapton in Cream to Steve Jones of The Sex Pistols, from Joe Walsh in The Eagles to Slash of Guns N'Roses. Unique color photographs feature a multitude of luscious Les Paul models and highlight great players in action with their Les Paul guitars. Meticulous listings for the collector document every model produced from 1952 to the present day. 50 Years of the Gibson Les Paul is a beautiful, detailed examination of six decades of great guitars and the fine musicians inspired to play them. 160 pages.

 

FIFTY YEARS OF THE GIBSON LES PAUL

Les Paul created on record a magical orchestra of massed guitars playing catchy instrumental tunes, and his first multi-guitar single was a big hit.

 

Les Paul is not just the name on a guitar headstock. The man himself was born Lester William Polfus in Waukesha, Wisconsin, in the mid 1910s, and started professional life as a talented, teenage guitarist. By age 17 he was broadcasting on local radio stations, playing country as Rhubarb Red and adding jazz to his expanding repertoire. The kid had an apparently natural technical ability, which he applied to music as well as to making his own bits and pieces of instrumental and electrical gadgetry. Like a number of performers in the 1930s, the young Lester soon became interested in amplifying his guitar. He recalled later that in his early teens he'd managed to create a pickup out of a telephone mouthpiece and an amplifier from his parents' radio, allowing him to bring his guitar to the attention of the audience at a local roadhouse gig. Around this time companies such as Rickenbacker, National and others began to sell the first commercial electric guitars, instruments with electric pickups and controls built into regular archtop acoustic guitars. By the middle of the 1930s the Gibson company had got into this market with an "Electric Spanish" guitar and amplifier, as had their biggest competitor, Epiphone of New York City. Meanwhile, Lester Polfus had permanently adopted a suitably shortened version of his name - Les Paul - and for three years from 1938 led a jazz-based trio broadcasting out of New York on the Fred Waring show. It was at this time that he moved from an acoustic archtop model to one of Gibson's first electric guitars, the ES-300. Later he would visit the empty Epiphone factory at weekends to experiment with an instrument he called his "log". The nickname came from a four-by-four solid block of pine that he inserted between the sawn halves of a dismembered Epiphone body, with a Gibson neck and Larson Bros fingerboard, adding his own vibrato and pickups. He didn't play this one much - it was more of a testbed. A little later Paul modified a second and third Epiphone, which he named his "clunkers", and he and vocal/guitar partner Mary Ford would use these semi-solid guitars regularly on stage and in recording studios through the early 1950s. Other explorations into solidbody electric guitars were being made elsewhere in America at this time, not least by Rickenbacker, National, Bigsby and Fender, all in California. A solidbody electric was appealing to manufacturers because it would be easier to construct than an acoustic guitar, using a body or body-section made of solid wood to support the strings and pickups. For the player, it would cut down the annoying feedback produced by amplified acoustic guitars. A solidbody guitar reduced the effect that the body had on the instrument's overall tone – something that players of electric hollowbody guitars criticise - but the solid body had the benefit of more accurately reproducing and sustaining the sound of the strings. Paul knew that Gibson was the biggest in the guitar business in the 1940s. After all, he'd appeared in the company's catalogues and ads as a famous player, both as Rhubarb Red and as Les Paul, and he'd played various Gibson guitars, including L-50, L-5 and Super 400 models (all acoustics) and that electric ES-300. So now he decided to try to interest them in his "log". Gibson was big, and ...

 

LES BEFORE THE PAUL

THE 50'S

THE 60'S

THE 70'S

THE 80'S

THE 90'S

THE NOUGHTIES

REFERENCE SECTION

INDEX

ACKNOWLEDGEMTES

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160