Archive | Music

Happy 96th Birthday, Les Paul

lespaulLester William Polfuss aka Les Paul, who was born on June 9, 1915, was an acclaimed American musician, innovator, entertainer, and all-around guitar genius. He was responsible for the world’s most famous guitar, the Les Paul model.

Les Paul would have been 96 years old today.

Click here see what other members are saying about Les Paul on his birthday.

Old school but cool video of Les Paul & Mary Ford:

Les Paul was a regular who played live for many years at The Iridium in NYC:

Google’s little tribute to Les Paul is this interactive guitar where you can strum strings and record on their homepage. Here’s a video of someone trying to do Stairway to Heaven:

Les Paul died in his home in Mahwah, NJ on August 13, 2009.

He will always be remembered and greatly missed.

Les Paul, 1915 – 2009

Les Paul, whose innovations with the electric guitar and studio technology made him one of the most important figures in recorded music, has died, according to a statement from his publicists. Paul was 94.

Paul died in White Plains, New York, from complications of severe pneumonia, according to the statement.

Paul was a guitar and electronics mastermind whose creations — such as multitrack recording, tape delay and the solid-body guitar that bears his name, the Gibson Les Paul — helped give rise to modern popular music, including rock ‘n’ roll. No slouch on the guitar himself, he continued playing at clubs into his 90s despite being hampered by arthritis.

“If you only have two fingers [to work with], you have to think, how will you play that chord?” he told CNN.com in a 2002 phone interview. “So you think of how to replace that chord with several notes, and it gives the illusion of sounding like a chord.”

Guitarists mourned the loss Thursday.

“Les Paul was truly a ‘one of a kind.’ We owe many of his inventions that made the rock ‘n roll sound of today to him, and he was the founding father of modern music,” B.B. King said in a statement. “This is a huge loss to the music community and the world. I am honored to have known him.”

Joe Satriani said in a statement: “Les Paul set a standard for musicianship and innovation that remains unsurpassed. He was the original guitar hero and the kindest of souls. Last October I joined him onstage at the Iridium club in [New York], and he was still shredding. He was and still is an inspiration to us all.”

In a statement, Slash said, “Les Paul was a shining example of how full one’s life can be; he was so vibrant and full of positive energy.”

Lester William Polfuss was born in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on June 9, 1915. Even as a child he showed an aptitude for tinkering, taking apart electric appliances to see what made them tick. more

Metallica – Their Favorite Songs and History Behind Them

Metallica’s 1983 debut, the explosiveKill ’Em All, taught a grateful world a lesson in unbridled thrashing fury. Since then, their sound has passed through numerous stages, but the guttural intensity that was the hallmark of the young Metallica remains the essence of the band today.

Over the past 25 years, Kirk Hammett and James Hetfield have established themselves as metal’s quintessential guitar alliance. In this epic retrospective, Kirk and James take a walk down Metallica memory lane and critique some of the key songs in the band’s harsh, noble history. more

Axl Rose Addresses Guns N’ Roses Turmoil In An Open Letter To Fans

You might not see him on the late-night talk shows or the covers of major magazines or hear him sitting in with the morning-zoo show in your hometown, but that doesn’t mean Guns N’ Roses leader Axl Rose isn’t reaching out to fans.

The typically reclusive singer — who is the only remaining original member of GN’R — has done little to no promotion for his band’s 13-years-in-the-making Chinese Democracy album, but over the past few days, he’s been a staple on the message boards of several GN’R forums. On Sunday, he penned a 4,300-word open letter to fans in which he tried to clear up many of what he called the misconceptions and outright lies about his band and the album, which, despite the hype, has been quickly sliding down the charts after a worse-than-expected opening bow.

The sudden chattiness began Friday, when Rose popped into the “MyGNRForum” and mixed it up with fans. Some took him to task for being a hermit, even as he explained why he’s often late for his shows (apparently he’s a lifelong night owl) and wished the best for troubled former GN’R drummer and “Celebrity Rehab” castmember Steven Adler. He also mentioned that a video for the song “Better” was slated for release any day now. more

Axl’s open letter / post can be seen here.

 

Guitarist Satriani sues Coldplay

Grammy nominees Coldplay have been sued by rock guitarist Joe Satriani, who claims the band’s song Viva La Vida uses one of his riffs.

In court papers filed in Los Angeles on Thursday, he said the song used “substantial original portions” of his 2004 instrumental If I Could Fly.

Satriani, 52, wants a jury trial and is seeking damages and “any and all profits” for the alleged plagiarism.  more

 

The Birds, the Bees, and My Daughters

Last week, I was faced with a hurdle every parent must eventually face. You see, my wife and I have two daughters, the older one just entering middle school this year. With middle school comes the sudden pressures of acting “grown up,” looking “cool,” and talking about. . . wait for it. . . SEX. The dreaded moment has come for me as a father: the moment for THE TALK.

Somehow it got back to my wife and I that the kids at school have been joking around about sex. “What the hell does ‘joking around’ mean?!” said I. Well, apparently middle schoolers are getting pretty damn cavalier regarding the depth of carnal gossip. It seems that there is definitely a different paradigm these days, a higher bar set. Our youth are exposed to way more stuff, thanks to the World Wide Internets. Gone are the days of finding Dad’s Playboy under his mattress and getting a five-second perusal of some T and A. more

6 Awesome On Stage Freak-outs Caught On Tape

Sure, seeing your favorite musician on stage, at their best, can be an inspiring thing. But let’s be honest: being lucky enough to be around at that special moment when everything goes wrong and that guitar wielding bajillionaire completely loses it…that’s way better.

There was a time when stories of on stage meltdowns were just that, stories. That was before video cameras, camera phones, and YouTube. Now, we get to see it all. For example… more

FBI Arrests Blogger Over Leaked Guns N’ Roses Songs

Federal authorities say they have arrested a blogger suspected of streaming songs from Guns N’ Roses unreleased album, “Chinese Democracy,” on his Web site.

FBI agents arrested 27-year-old Kevin Cogill on Wednesday morning on suspicion of violating federal copyright laws. Federal authorities say Cogill posted nine unreleased Guns N’ Roses songs on his Web site in June.

The songs were later removed.

According to an arrest affidavit, Cogill admitted to agents that he posted the songs on his Web site.

“Chinese Democracy” is a much anticipated — and repeatedly delayed — new album by Guns N’ Roses that is more than 10 years in the making. more

Top 10 Led Zeppelin Rip-Off Bands

There may not be another band with as divisive a legacy as Led Zeppelin: While many fans see them as the quintessential male rock band, there is an equally large contingent of people that sees them as derivative, even thieving. Doubts have long circulated about the originality of some of Led Zeppelin’s most famous songs — most notably that the lead riff from “Stairway to Heaven” may have been lifted from Spirit’s “Taurus.” Of course, it might just be a coincidence that Led Zeppelin opened for Spirit on their 1968 tour.

Led Zeppelin may or may not have used some dubious tactics to achieve their prestige, but in an ironic twist, dozens of Led Zeppelin rip-off bands followed a little too closely in the footsteps of Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, and John Bonham to gain success of their own. It could be manic cymbal crashes, crunchy sweat-drenched guitar riffs or a high-pitched scream, but the following 10 Led Zeppelin rip-off bands each borrowed heavily from the formula that made Zepp one of the most important and controversial bands of the last 50 years. more

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Classic Rock

1. The mighty final chord of The Beatles’ “A Day In The Life” was played by ten hands in three pianos simultaneously: Lennon’s, Mc Cartney’s, Starr’s, Martin’s (their manager?) and Evan’s (their roadie).

2. In 1968 Jimi Hendrix bought a studio located in the 52 West Eight Street, Greewnwich Village, New York, with the idea of transforming it into a nightclub. His sound technician convinced him of turning it into a studio and in August 27th 1970 “Electric Ladyland” officially opened it’s doors. Both recording rooms haven’t changed a bit since Jimi jammed there (one still has the same paints hanging on the walls and sofas, and the other -Purple Haze- still has the purple console). When The Clash recorded “Sandinista!” there, they swear Jimi’s spirit added an extra guitar line in the album. That may sound weird (and stoned) but the truth is that doors close on their own, floors creak and a magic can be sensed in the air (or so they say).

3. Slash’s favorite song is “Nobody’s Fault” by Aerosmith. As he said, “first heard it at the house of a girl I wanted to date. I went to her house, talked for a while, smoked a joint, and then she put the CD (Rocks), it hit me like a ton of bricks…and I totally forgot about her”. more