Taylor Guitars Remembers Les Paul

Wednesday August 19, 2009
By: Taylor Guitars News

Taylor Guitars was saddened to hear the news of the passing of Les Paul, a renaissance man of the audio and guitar world whose genius and dedication to perfecting his craft will be admired for generations to come. Bob Taylor reflects, “It's amazing to think that every Monday night Les Paul played live in a club, way into his 90's. In his prime, he was a lightning fast, innovative player that stretched what could be played on guitar. Combine that with his guitar designs and advancements, and it really stacks up into a remarkable lifetime contribution. A goal I have always set for myself is to leave the guitar world better off than I found it. Clearly, Les Paul did just that and I wonder what it might be like today if he hadn't.”

Taylor artist Doyle Dykes shares, “My memories of Les Paul go back to when I was a child. ‘Bye Bye Blues’, ‘Tiger Rag’, and ‘The Tennessee Waltz’ were heard in our home on a regular basis. My Dad would play a 1952 Goldtop Les Paul while my brother Aubery and I stood on folding chairs and we'd all sing. Dad would emulate Les's style of playing as he'd kick off ‘Feeling Mighty Fine’ and ‘Goodbye World Goodbye.’ It sounded like The Les Paul and Mary Ford Show goes to church!

“Many years later, I had the chance to tell the story to Les himself. He so graciously thanked me and asked if I’d play on his next show. Of course! I had just bought a Les Paul right before the show and took it in for him to sign. He played along with me and invited me back again. I did go back a couple times and in fact, I was just looking at my schedule and planning to go again.

“I may not be a Keith Richards or a Paul Mc Cartney but Les still treated me like a rock star. That may not be the main ingredient of a legend but Les had a way of making a person feel special. His son Rusty once told me, ‘Dad wanted me to give you his address and phone number so you can come by sometime.’ I was too shy to do it but I carried that piece of paper in my wallet for years.

“Les Paul's fantastic accomplishments with inventions topple over anything any one company has ever been able to produce. He was so multi-faceted that at times, it seems he had more than one lifetime to accomplish it all. Looking back on those memories, I’m thrilled and honored I had the chance to play with him. I’ll never forget it.”

Our thoughts, condolences, and our sincerest “thank you” go out to Les Paul, his family and many friends.