The music industry lost a pioneer yesterday.  Les Paul, at the age of 94, passed away surrounded by family at his bedside.

The name "Les Paul" has become more synonymous to younger generations as the brand of guitar named for him than the man himself.

However, the naming of the brand by the Gibson guitar company comes with good reason.  Les Paul was undoubtedly the creator of electric guitar music.  As a budding Jazz guitarist, he was frustrated with the tone of acoustic guitars and their echoing tone when played, he set about building a guitar from a solid piece of wood instead of the more traditional hollowed wooden shell in order to find the rich warm tone he craved.  A number of evolutions of his idea followed and after signing an agreement with Gibson in the early 50's, in 1952 the original Gibson Les Paul Gold Top was released.  More variations of the model by gibson followed and the rest as they say, is history.

Solid body electric guitars are now heard in nearly all forms of amplified music.  From blues to jazz, rock to reggae, the electric guitar is not tied to any one genre.  The legacy Les Paul leaves is the music that generations of guitar players and listeners aplenty enjoy is all down to his perseverance in finding the perfect sound.

Having tinkered around on guitars for some years, I myself am lucky enough to own one of the Gibson models and I can honestly say that for me, no other guitar I've played gives you that rush of elation as you hit those perfect notes.

I leave you all with a clip of Les Paul together with Chet Atkins playing the classic "Avalon".

RIP Les Paul.

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s2smodern

Even though there is a link to my old blog site and the end of this blog I felt that some of those posts still carry relevance now in that the subject matter still annoys, pleases or excites me in some way.  I have decided to re-post one of them here as it is still relevant and probably always will be....

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Last night I was getting ready for the start of my night shifts by staying up late.
As part of my regimented routine I was surfing the net for hours with the TV on in the background. I ended up at YouTube where I thought I'd have a nosey through some music bootlegs.

I decided to look up some Beatles stuff (because no one's ever looked for that before!) and put "Little Help From My Friends" as the search term. From that I stumbled on to a version of "With a Little Help from My Friends" by Bon Jovi. Notably, this was a cover of Joe Cocker's arrangement of the song (as performed at Woodstock and on the TV theme to the Wonder Years). What really astoundeed me though was the number of idiots that post comments on YouTube about artists music vids - particularly when they start ranting about how the "beatles were better" or "Bon Jovi kick Beatles ass". OH PLEASE, SHUT UP ALREADY! whining fools... grrr

To say one thing is better than another implies that similarities exist to make them comparable. The Beatles and Bon Jovi are from completely different musical genres. Also, if one iconic band perform a version of another iconic bands' work then surely it is seen that the former band are doffing their hat to the latter???

People need to learn the different between a band performing a cover version of someone else's work and an arrangement of someone else's work: -
A "cover" is a performance of a song that preserves the musical elements found in the original even if the style of the covering band is different in sound to that of the original.
An "arrangement" is where an artist has taken the some or all of the lyrics and provided an original interpretation that is markedly different to the original.

Some expamples of covers: -
No Doubt's cover of Talk Talk's "It's My Life"
Guns N' Roses cover of Wings "Live and Let Die"

Some expamples of arrangements: -
Joe Cocker's arrangement of the Beatles "With A Little Help From My Friends"
Michael Andrews & Gary Jules arrangement of Tears for Fears' "Mad World"

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s2smodern