See Les Shred His Way to Age 94


Ever consider where that solid-body guitar strapped around your shoulders came from? Probably not, because you’re too busy trying to sound like Tony Iommi, but if you stop to wipe the sweat off your guitar for one millisecond, you may begin to appreciate its innovative craftsmanship, and might consider paying worship to another deserving gentleman: Les Paul.

Lester William Polsfuss, a.k.a. Les Paul, was born on June 9, 1915 in Waukesha, Wisconsin, and was the genius behind both the craft of the guitar and the playing of it — a rare musical genius, indeed. Paul, in a small-scale of grand things, is responsible for the invention of the solid-body electric guitar as well as the multi-track recorder, and for all of those local bands out there who use Paul’s invention of the 8-track tape recorder (1952) in your basements and home studios, tip your fedoras and trucker hats to his innovativeness.

The chance to do this comes in the form of a Les Paul celebration Milwaukee is hosting this weekend in honor of the Wisconsin native, who has chosen the locale of his birth not only to celebrate his 93rd birthday in, but also to sign his book The Early Years of the Les Paul Legacy, participate in a Brewer’s game by throwing out the first pitch, watch the M&I building downtown light up two sides of its building in the shape of guitars, and play what may be one of his few live shows left at the Pabst Theater on Saturday, June 21.

This show will benefit an amazing tribute to Paul’s innovations set to open to the general public on Sunday, June 22 at Milwaukee’s Discovery World. Discovery World will do a preview open of the exhibit Les Paul’s House of Sound to special ticket holders earlier this weekend, and will open the exhibit to the rest of Milwaukee, the country and globe, on Sunday, showcasing Paul’s love and ability to marry both technology and music.

For more information on Les Paul’s House of Sound or the Pabst Theater show, visit www.discoveryworld.org and www.pabsttheater.org.

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