LES PAUL - 01/08/2005
As a musician, and photographer, there was no greater treat in the modern day than my chance to see Les Paul up close and personal, playing a private party at the Gibson Tent during the CES Expo (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas, NV on Sat. January 8, 2005. It was considered an early 90th birthday party for Les, thrown by Gibson, and was replete with an authentic showgirl (feathers and all ) popping out of a "cake" (prop) in the middle of his set. Without missing a beat, Les smiled wryly and said, "Thank God for Viagra!". Born Lester William Polsfuss, Les is legendary not only for his guitar-playing prowess, but as an inventor as well. He is credited as pioneering the solid-body electric guitar which "made the sound of Rock 'N' Roll possible.", as well as inventing tape delays, multitrack recording abilities, phasing, and much more. In his latter years, arthritis has plagued him, crippling all except two fingers on his left hand, but even that has not slowed him down. He still performs every Monday night at the Iridium Jazz Club on Broadway in New York City. At this particular show, Neal Schon of Journey joined Les onstage. I wish I knew the names of the other members, but I don't recall if they announced them. Opening the show was teen prodigy Nick Sterling, with his band, and the legendary, the late Ike Turner.

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