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Eddie Van Halen, David Gilmour and Les Paul Play "Blue Suede Shoes" with Stray Cats

Eddie Van Halen, David Gilmour and Les Paul Play

On August 18, 1988, a horde of name-brand musicians got together to celebrate the life and music of guitar great Les Paul, who was 73 at the time.

The show that was filmed that night was eventually released on a now-sought-after VHS tape called Les Paul & Friends: He Changed the Music: LIVE at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York.

In short (in contrast to the tape's ridiculously not-short title), the cameras caught some magical guitar moments in Brooklyn that evening. You can relive one of them below.

Near the end of the evening, Stray Cats—featuring Gretsch-loving axman Brian Setzer—launched into Carl Perkins' "Blue Suede Shoes." After singing all the verses, Setzer bellowed, "Hey, Eddie Van Halen, get your butt up here, man!"—thus opening the floodgates to an impressive list of guest guitarists.

Below, check out the jammy portion of the "Blue Suede Shoes" performance. It kicks off with a bluesy-tapping solo by Van Halen (:12), followed by David Gilmour, B.B. King and Stanley Jordan, whose brilliant solo starts at 2:18 (Waylon Jennings is clearly impressed by Jordan, as you can see in the clip). Up next is Steve Miller, who kicks off his solo by playing his Les Paul behind his back (2:34). Finally, Les Paul, the man of honor, appears at 2:51, hoping to show the youngsters a thing or two.

The funny thing about the clip is how long it takes for everyone to appear on stage after Setzer calls out their names. Early on, Gilmour can be seen turning around and heading back off-stage for some reason. 

NOTE: The top video shows the jam only (all the times mentioned above refer to the top clip). The bottom video shows the full performance of "Blue Suede Shoes," including Les Paul's introduction of Stray Cats. Enjoy!

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