Monday, August 17, 2009


So much has been written about Les Paul since he died last week that there isn’t anything I can add about his legacy. I’m in debt to him for the groundbreaking work he contributed to recording techniques and technology which migrated from his guitar world to electronic music.

I’d met Les numerous times through mutual friends. He was always gracious and friendly though I was never completely sure that he knew exactly what I did. But I always looked forward to a friendly handshake and a short chat at the Audio Engineering Society conventions. I’ll miss that this year.

I do have one little chapter to share. On Sunday afternoon, August 21, 1994 Les came to the Thomas A. Edison National Historic Site in West Orange, New Jersey. That site is about 10 minutes from House of Music Studios where the Synergy albums were all recorded. The Edison Laboratories were where the recording industry was born. Les, accompanied by Lou Pallo, was recorded that afternoon by cylinder recordist Peter N. Dilg into an 1890s vintage horn-pickup acoustic wax cylinder recording machine. I thoroughly enjoyed the convergence of the oldest recording technology being used to record one of the men who advanced the art so significantly, playing his signature electric guitar into a Fender Twin Reverb, with a 100 year old acoustic horn shoved up against the guitar amp speakers. The perfect blend of art and technology.