Archive for August, 2009

Les Paul 1915-2009

Today we lost a legend in the music world. When I say ‘legend’ I mean someone that without a doubt has influenced the music 99% of you listen to on daily basis. He was the Leonardo DaVinci of Music.

Les Paul died today of complications from pneumonia at White Plains Hospital in NY. I guess that’s what happens when you’re 94 years old! Way to live it out Les. So maybe you’re sitting there thinking “Who is Les Paul? I thought that was a type of guitar.” If I were sitting next to you and I would first slap you, but then I’d explain.


Les Paul was the man that INVENTED the electric guitar. Yes friends up until a day ago the man that first amplified a guitar was still alive. Not only that he invented overdubbing, delay and phasing effects, and amazingly multitrack recording. If you know anything about music you understand how huge this is.


The electric guitar is really the instrument that kicked off the 50’s Rock n’ Roll era. One could say without Les Paul there would be no Rock and/or Roll. No Elvis, no Hendrix, no Edward Van Halen, no Slash, no John Petrucci and of course no Micah. How do you think it is that so many women have always surrounded me? Electric guitar. Who do I have to thank for that? Ol’ Les.


Les Paul’s inventions didn’t take off at first, being an innovator that is often the case. In addition to being an inventor Les was also a damn good guitar player, I suppose you’d have to be if you’re the first guy to discover something. Things weren’t always easy as his right arm was crushed in a near-fatal car accident in 1948. His elbow was crushed and the doctors were unable to rebuild it so the had to pin it in one position. He instructed the to set it at an angle that would allow him to cradle the guitar. Even after a year and a half recovery Les pressed on and continued to make music.


Up until last year Les Paul was still performing near his hometown. If I live that long I hope to be able to still play the guitar. I find it interesting that Chet Atkins was the same way; playing the instrument he loved up until the very end. Probably kept both of them young! I think it says something to keep doing the things you love throughout your life..never stop.


Anyways I am sad. Especially as I sit here listening to his music. I tell myself I can’t be too sad because the man really did live a full life. I feel fortunate to have lived at the same time that such a remarkable man lived. I think I will go plug my guitar in and play a little tune for Les, tonight this one’s for you Mr. Paul. Thank you for all that you have brought to this lifetime. May you truly rest in peace.


For the rest of my friends here are a couple videos for you and a song from The Les Paul Trio.


His Official Website


Listen to his trio play Lazy River, complete with record crackles.

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Things you should have seen

Sitting behind a computer at work all day affords certain luxuries. Carpel Tunnel, a sore ass and the ability to be a part of all the latest Internet Memes. Having an on going email thread with my friends Phil and Kelli there is not much I miss. Throughout the day one or both of them will fill my inbox with the latest and greatest videos, jokes, news articles and crazy things from the land of the Internet. I do my best to keep up but sometimes I do fall behind. When I am away from the computer I may make a reference to something seen online and I can be sure 99% of the time that P and K will get it and laugh joyously with me. But when I’m around friends that don’t spend their lives on the Internet or more specifically my sister, my joke falls on deaf, confused ears. And that just makes me sad.

I was excited yesterday to find “Greg Rutter’s Definitive List of The 99 Things You Should Have Already Experienced On The Internet Unless You’re a Loser or Old or Something“. After a few clicks I realized I had found a goldmine. Something for people like my sister that think the Internet is only good for checking your email and googling something (even then she has a bit of trouble). Finally we can have a conversation full of pop culture references and my well timed jokes will not fall flat.

After clicking a few of these I realized there were a few that I had completely missed. I had often seen or heard about Leeroy Jenkins but didn’t get it. Then, (thanks to this list) I was educated. I laughed and fully understood what pulling a Leeroy Jenkins was all about. H.E.S. came over last night and I was floored that she had hardly seen any off the list. We spent the night clicking through a bunch and each time I was surprised that she hand never seen things like “Diet coke and Mentos” “You’re the man now dog” (that one is as old as the Internet) “I Can Has Cheezburger” and I couldn’t believe she had never been “Rick Rolled”. Don’t worry I educated her real good in Internet last night.

I am glad to see that ‘Grape Stomp‘ is right at the top as this has been one of my favorite videos for years. Some other highlights are ‘Spaghetti Cat‘, ‘David after Dentist‘ and one I had never seen before ‘Battle at Kruger (lions vs buffalos vs crocodiles)‘ that last one is 8 minutes long and worth all 8…very cool.

So the challenge to my sister and H.E.S. or anyone else that doesn’t know what ‘All your base are belong to us” means is to watch 3 a day until you’ve seen them all. Some are weird and boring, some are hilarious or confusing and a few might be a little vulgar, but stick to the list and you’ll get through them in about a month. If you have questions as to what you just watched come and here and I’ll try to give you an answer. If I don’t know the answer P and K are only a txt away. You may not be better person at the end of it, or smarter but at least you’ll have some good insight into what the hell people are talking about when they say “Play him off keyboard cat!“.

Come back in a month and let me know how it went!

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