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Author: Subject: This past Monday in New York ...

True Peach





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  posted on 6/29/2005 at 09:48 AM
Donna and I spent our ďbirth-a-versaryĒ weekend in New York this past weekend.
For her birthday, I always try to take her to an art exhibit of some kind. This year was no exception.

Having just read about Les Paulís 90th birthday celebration inspired me. I asked Donna if she wouldnít mind going to New York this year Ė visit the Metropolitan, MOMA, Guggenheim and others. She said, ďsure, but what do you want to do for your birthday?Ē I told her there was a jazz club up there that features a pretty good guitar player on Monday nights. She said thatíd be okay.

So we did the museum thing all day Saturday and Sunday. I think my favorite surrealist is Max Ernst. Picasso, Dali and all those other guys were painting cartoons compared to Ernst. But thatís another topic.

Monday night (last night) we arrive at the Iridium Jazz Club for the early (8:00 PM) show. I show up armed with Sharpie markers and two of my favorite Les Paul albums (including one really vintage one) hoping to gain an audience with the master himself.

The early show went great! I was expecting them to wheel Les out there, and for him to just sit on stage while the band played around him. Disappointment has never been so sweet!



If I even make it to 90, Iíll be happy if I can mange a bowel movement twice a month. Les Paul still plays an amazing guitar! On top of that, his ďcomedy stylingsĒ are on par with the finest stand-up acts youíll ever see.

As the show ended, I was told that Les would not sign autographs until after the late (10:00 PM) show. It seems that Les has to take a nap between shows. Napping has long been one of the traits of geniuses. Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and John Lennon were all nappers. Me, Iím a light sleeper. Thereís a message here somewhere.

The only way that Iím going to get my records signed, it seems, is if I stay for the late show. Iím on a mission, so I go for it. The waiter comes around and tells me thereís a $10.00 per person, per show minimum for drinks and stuff. Iím a tee-totler, so he suggests I buy a t-shirt. So now I have two shows and a souvenir shirt under my belt.

At the end of the second show, Les does indeed make himself available. Thereís some rock band in the line ahead of me. Theyíve all brought in their guitars for Les to sign. They bogart enough of Lesí time, mugging for photos, getting his signature, etc., to the point where heís beginning to seem a little tired and perturbed. So when itís my turn, I just walk up and lay the two records down. I tell him that Iíve been a fan since I was 15 years old and that I appreciate him sharing his wonderful gift with the world. The line behind me is long, so I skip the well-rehearsed story of how I came to own the vintage album that heís just signed.

For me, this meeting was Ö like meeting holy royalty or something. Iíve gotten maybe three autographs in my life. Iíve worked around celebís and stars before (some big unís, too), but nobodyís left me shaking in my boots like Les Paul did.


[Edited on 7/8/2005 by Rusty]

 

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People who believe in music are the happiest people I've ever seen.

Bill Ector, Randy Stephens, Dan Hills and a guy named BobO who I never met - Forever in my heart!

 
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Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 6/29/2005 at 10:06 AM
awright, Rusty! Great story. Congrats on the Les Paul autographs.

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 6/29/2005 at 10:12 AM
Les Paul, from Waukesha, Wis!

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 6/29/2005 at 10:38 AM
Mission was accomplished! Outstanding!
(I can picture you shaking in your boots with Donna standing by smiling)

 

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Peach Head



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  posted on 6/29/2005 at 10:41 AM
What a great story Rusty !

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 6/29/2005 at 11:38 AM
quote:
Les Paul, from Waukesha, Wis!


We won't hold that against him.

Good story, Rusty. Who was the rock band? Just some local cats?

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 6/29/2005 at 11:43 AM
What a great birthday present! Thanks for sharing, Rusty.

 

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A Peach Supreme



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  posted on 6/29/2005 at 11:59 AM
Les is very cool. I use to live two houses away from him in New Jersey.
He would always be out on his porch playing

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 6/29/2005 at 12:14 PM
I don't know who the rock band was, but they did say (to Les) that they we're playing at CBGB.
For the second show we sat next to an older couple who are Les' next door neighbors. The gentleman said that he is a piano player and that he and Les get together often for jam sessions at his house. I wish I knew how to get invited to one of those!

[Edited on 6/29/2005 by Rusty]

 

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Music is love, and love is music, if you know what I mean.

People who believe in music are the happiest people I've ever seen.



Bill Ector, Randy Stephens, Dan Hills and a guy named BobO who I never met - Forever in my heart!

 

A Peach Supreme



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  posted on 6/29/2005 at 02:09 PM
Nice story, Rusty. I guess we wont see those albums on EBay anytime soon....

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 6/29/2005 at 02:58 PM
YOU WILL NEVER SEE THESE ALBUMS ON E-BAY!

Here's the story:

Back in 1976 my best friend, Victor and I considered ourselves up and coming guitar players. We'd worked our way through most of the Mel Bay books and were getting better at stealing licks by watching other people play. In short, we considered ourselves guitar players.

When my birthday came around my aunt gave me the "Chester and Lester" album (by Chet Atkins and Les Paul). I remember putting the album on and playing it through in it's entirity about four or five times. Then I grabbed the record up and ran over to Victor's house. When he came to the door, I was almost out of breath. "Victor", I said, "we ain't doin' it right!".

We put the record on the stereo in the living room of his mothers house. We sat and listened to the record a couple of times. We had not noticed that Victors mother had come in and taken a seat in the same room.

It turns out that Victor's father (who had died when Vic was a child) was a big Les Paul fan. Vic's mother wa familiar with all of the songs on the album. In fact, she asked me to leave the record so that she could listen to it for a while. Eventually, I bought another copy and gave it to her so I could have mine back.

She thanked me and told me she had something to show me. She went upstairs and returned carrying what looked like a small record album. Indeed it was a record. It was a small album (about the size of "EP's" from the 1980's) titled 'The New Sounds of Les Paul". The record features a retouched picture of Les Paul with 16 arms playing 8 guitars. The blurb on the backside asks "How can one man play 8 guitars at the same time? We'll never tell the secret ...". As it turns out, this is one of the first (if not THE first) record to feature over-dubbing.

Anyway, I sat there and stared at the record for probably thirty minutes before she took it back from me. I thanked her for letting me see it.

About 8 years ago, Victors mother started to get ill. Donna and I would visit her from time to time, taking her to lunch or out shopping, or just to visit.

About two weeks before she died, she called me to come to her house. When I got there, she told me she had something that she wanted me to have. She left the room and returned with the same "New Sounds of Les Paul" recod that she had shown me 20 years earlier. she handed it to me and told me she wanted me to have it.

So when I saw Les Paul this past Monday evening, the two records that I had him sign were the "Chester and Lester" album that my aunt had given me for a birthday present 30 years ago and the "New Sounds of Les Paul" album that was given to me by Victors mother.

They haven't grown enough trees to make enough paper to print enough money to buy those two albums from me.

 

____________________
Music is love, and love is music, if you know what I mean.

People who believe in music are the happiest people I've ever seen.



Bill Ector, Randy Stephens, Dan Hills and a guy named BobO who I never met - Forever in my heart!

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 6/29/2005 at 03:13 PM
quote:

They haven't grown enough trees to make enough paper to print enough money to buy those two albums from me.


 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 6/29/2005 at 03:28 PM
Great story Rusty. It reminded me very much of when I met Tom Dowd. A few guys in front of me were taking their sweet time trying to impress him with LOTS of technical talk, which you could clearly see was boring him. He was going to stop signing with them but I stepped up and said " how did you like remastering the Fillmore East show"? which he had just completed. His eyes lit up, and he gladly gave me an autograph while explaing how fun it was to go back and redo that show. Timing is EVERYTHING!!!

 

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Well 30 years of heart and soul,lord we took it further than rock and roll.
We stood together thru thick and thin,yeah we made the best of it all back then.
Then I guess time took it's toll,cut me deep,cut me cold.
Brother against brother....

 

Maximum Peach



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  posted on 6/29/2005 at 04:22 PM


The Les Paul Birthday Band: Larry Carlton (front left), Pat Martino (tie), Les (center) [and Rusty (far right)?]


Thanks for the stories, Rusty, and congratulations on the birth-a-versary and the whole Les Paul experience!



http://www.317x.com/albums/p/lespaul/card.html

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 6/29/2005 at 04:25 PM
That is the album!!!! I'm not the guy in the picture though. Les actually has a son who, like me, goes by the nick-name "Rusty".

 

____________________
Music is love, and love is music, if you know what I mean.

People who believe in music are the happiest people I've ever seen.



Bill Ector, Randy Stephens, Dan Hills and a guy named BobO who I never met - Forever in my heart!

 

True Peach



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  posted on 6/29/2005 at 08:11 PM
Rusty,

You are beginning to be a show-off

Give Doris...errr uh ...Donna my love.

bluedad

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 7/8/2005 at 11:23 AM
Harmless bump so that you can see my original post with the picture ... which was finally posted.

 

____________________
Music is love, and love is music, if you know what I mean.

People who believe in music are the happiest people I've ever seen.



Bill Ector, Randy Stephens, Dan Hills and a guy named BobO who I never met - Forever in my heart!

 

Extreme Peach



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  posted on 7/8/2005 at 12:09 PM
The guy in the pic to the far right really looks like Mick Jones from Foreigner
 
 


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