I first heard how beautiful the guitar could sound by way of Mike Bloomfield way back in the year, when I had been bitten by the blues in the first place (thanks to B.B. King) and was going full and deep into discovering as much of the music as I could. Specifically, 1969, when I heard Super Session
for the first time . . .
That was my first experience with Bloomfield, and I went from there to tracking him back to East-West
, the Butterfield album on which he recorded with a Les Paul for the first time. (He'd used a Telecaster on the first Butterfield album.)
But I didn't actually get to play a Les Paul for many years to follow. After having played SGs for a good number of years, then a Stratocaster for about a year or two before it was stolen, and another SG which I had to sell when I hit some very hard times, I got to play again and tried a Les Paul. I'd tried other guitars in the interim---a Flying V or two here, an ES-335/355 there, a Telecaster or two yonder---and found them very wanting for what I wanted to do with the blues.
Trying that Les Paul, though, that was it
. I had inspirations toward the guitar way back when (Bloomfield and others, like Peter Green, Eric Clapton, and Alan Wilson/Henry Vestine in Canned Heat) but I didn't actually get near one until a lot of years and a lot of trial and error otherwise.
I now own three, lucky boy me. They're the only three guitars I own. And I'll never look back. They give me what I wanted most as a blues player---they let me sound like me
, not any/everyone else.