|Les Paul, He Changed The Music
Falcon Neue Medien, DVD
I picked this DVD up on a motorcycle show just last week. The show is transferred directly from VHS (Magnum Music Group) and no effort was made to improve the image quality, the LCPM sound is pretty much okay though. So, there you have it, this 5 euro DVD doesn't have the best digital quality you can get these days, but that's not what this review is all about. This was the first time I ever saw this show, and I was immensely impressed. It's a tribute to Les Paul (born Lester Polfus on June 9, 1915 in Waukesha, Wisconsin), and if anyone ever deserved a tribute like this, it's Les Paul, developer of the solidbody electric guitar guitar, inventor of multi-track recording, in other words: the man who gave us rock 'n' roll.
At the time this show was recorded in 1988, Les Paul was 73 years old. He doesn't look it, and he plays his electric guitar with build-in "Les Pulverizer" like nothing you ever seen before! He is joined on stage by many great artists, all of them pay him tribute and acknowledge they are in great debt to him for his influence on modern music. There's Stanley Jordan, a jazz & jazz fusion guitarist, best known for his development of the touch technique. Stanley also was as main influence for Eddie van Halen as well as Joe Satriani. Eddie van Halen himself is also present, kissing his master Les Paul as if he wants to have sex with him.
King of the blues B.B. King pays his dues, as does Steve Miller, who's father was best man at Les Paul's wedding. David Gilmour turns up. As you may know, Pink Floyd's album "Dark Side of the Moon" was the ultimate in multitrack recording in the early 70s. Johnny Cash's runner up Waylon Jennings is at his best with Les Paul backing him up. And there's Carly Simon and Rita Coolidge, who performs "Am I Blue", a Les Paul song we rockabillies know best of the cover by the late great Eddie Cochran. Les Paul and his Trio perform "Over The Rainbow", you might have heard Gene Vincent's ultimate rendition, and "It's Been A Long Time".
At the end of the show, there's the Stray Cats. Brian Setzer, Lee Rocker and Slim Jim Phantom. After performing Carl Perkins's original "Blue Sue Shoes", Brian invites all stars back on stage and we are treated with a jamsession that includes all the afore mentioned performers. The show closes with the biggest of all Les Paul and Mary Ford hits "How High The Moon". A treat for everyone's eyes and ears, a true tribute to the man who really did change the music: LES PAUL, age 73, and he still plays his Les Paul guitar AND Les Paul Black Box like no-one ever after. Les Paul is currently 90 years old and just a few months ago he released his first newly recorded album in 27 years, "Les Paul & Friends, American Made World Played".
Falcon Neue Medien Vertrieb GmbH
Reviewed by The BlackCat, 2006
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