Lester William Polsfuss died today. Better known as Les Paul, he’s been a hero of mine since high school, ever since seeing an HBO special in which he demonstrated one of his many inventions, the Les Paulverizer. For being conceived in an era of analog electronics, the Les Paulverizer makes an impressive demo. I can’t find the version of it I saw, but here is one from even earlier:
Unfortunately, the device is fictional, a stage prop. What isn’t fictional are his other inventions, including multi-track recording and one of the first solid body electric guitars. Not to mention his recording career. And beer commercial.
I’ll never be able to give him the tribute he deserves, so I’ll just cut to someone who did in 1988 (on the same HBO special, immediately after the Paulverizer demo)… Eddie Van Halen:
Thanks for the music, Les.