One of my best friends, Bill Pauluh, has introduced me to the rich history of music throughout the 20th century. I’ve learned much from him about the remarkable people behind the industry and technology, and living in New York is a richer experience for it.
One of the giants Bill recently introduced me to is Les Paul, an inventor and famous musician of the mid 20th century. He’s still alive and playing in New York, and I hope to see him live this Monday at the Iridium Jazz Club.
Bill and his wife Janet were kind enough to give us a copy of the television program, Les Paul: Chasing Sound. This program covers the history of Les Paul, up through his current life where he plays every Monday at the club. Les lives over in New Jersey, and is still kicking in his nineties! I do hope I’m as active when I get there.
Les’ story appeals to me because he followed both his passion for music, and his passion for invention. Not only did he embrace technology as a platform for his music, he contributed to the art by extending that technology with new inventions such as multitrack recording. Overdubbing opened up new forms of musical expression, and unsatisfied with the sound of electric guitars he built his own to widespread acclaim.
I admire how Les pursued and embraced his passion. With innovation, he sought and received what he wanted from his equipment. This mastery of technology in pursuit of a goal is something that brings me great joy and something I strive to do myself.