Last night, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay paid $335,500 for a controversial guitar, Les Paul's very own 1954 Les Paul Custom "Black Beauty." According to The New York Times, Irsay's guitar curator, Christopher McKinney, placed the bid at the February 19 auction, which took place at Guernsey's in New York City.
Guitar Player’s February 2015 issue features a cover feature about Les Paul’s 1954 Black Beauty. For those unfamiliar with the story, the Black Beauty is the very guitar on which Les performed many modifications over the years as he sought to improve upon Gibson’s original design.
In the summer of 1986, Guitar Center opened a mammoth music store on Sunset Boulevard in the center of Hollywood. Eddie Van Halen and Les Paul were being honored along with several other musical giants, including Stevie Wonder and amp builder Jim Marshall, as part of the store’s opening celebration. It seemed natural to take the opportunity to put Ed and Les together in the same room to talk about what they knew best—playing the guitar. The following is an excerpt from the story that originally appeared in the November 1986 edition of Guitar World.
Pete Townshend of The Who will be presented with the Les Paul Award at the 28th Annual Technical Excellence & Creativity Awards. The TEC Awards will take place Friday, January 25, at the Anaheim Hilton during the 2013 NAMM Show.
Over the weekend, an auction of guitars and memorabilia owned by the late Les Paul raised nearly $5 million for the Les Paul Foundation. The foundation, which was established by Paul, supports music education, engineering, innovation and medical research.
Leslie West grew up in New York City and started out as one of the original members of The Vagrants. Of course, he is best known as the guitarist for the hard rock group Mountain, who Rolling Stone once called “a louder version of Cream.” The band gave us classics like “Mississippi Queen” and “Theme from an Imaginary Western” and was credited with helping the development of heavy metal.
Guitarist Mick Taylor, who is generally considered the most musically gifted Rolling Stone of all time, is heading to New York City next week to kick off a six-night run of shows at the Iridium Jazz Club at 1650 Broadway. The shows run May 9 through May 14.
Mick Taylor's path to glory started one night in 1965 when the guitarist in John Mayall's backing band, The Bluesbreakers, played hooky from a gig. A guitar and amp were present -- but their owner, Eric Clapton -- had somewhere else to be. Sixteen-year-old Mick Taylor, who was in the audience that night, asked Mayall if he could sit in. The band leader agreed, and Taylor, who was already familiar with Mayall's material, made a strong and lasting impression.
"When I first got to LA, I had that creme Les Paul, which is an amazing-sounding fiddle," Wylde said last week. "So I had the blonde hair and the creme Les Paul -- and it was gonna look like a Randy Rhoads tribute band when I get up there with Ozzy. So I wanted to get something painted on it. Eddie Van Halen had the stripes and Randy had the polka dots.