$95.00 – $495.00
Les Paul Caricature, shown here in NYC with the new 1952 Gibson electric guitar named after him, age 37.
Lester William Polsfuss was an American jazz, country, and blues guitarist, songwriter, luthier, and inventor. He was one of the pioneers of the solid-body electric guitar.
He is credited with many recording innovations. Although he was not the first to use the technique, his early experiments with overdubbing (also known as sound on sound), delay effects such as tape delay, phasing effects and multitrack recording were among the first to attract widespread attention.
Born in Wisconsin, Paul's mother was related to the founders of Milwaukee's Valentin Blatz Brewing Company and the makers of the Stutz automobile.
At the age of eight, Paul began playing the harmonica. After trying to learn the piano, he switched to the guitar. It was during this time that he invented a neck-worn harmonica holder, which allowed him to play both sides of the harmonica hands-free while accompanying himself on the guitar. It is still manufactured using his basic design.
By age thirteen, Paul was performing semi-professionally as a country-music singer, guitarist, and harmonica player.
His first two records were released in 1936, credited to “Rhubarb Red”, Paul's hillbilly alter ego. He also served as an accompanist for a few other bands signed to Decca. During this time he began adding different sounds and adopted his stage name of “Les Paul”.
He was dissatisfied with acoustic-electric guitars and began experimenting with a few designs of his own. Famously, he created several versions of “The Log”, which was a length of common 4×4 lumber with a bridge, neck, strings, and pickup attached. For the sake of appearance, he attached the body of an Epiphone hollow-body guitar sawn lengthwise with The Log in the middle.
This solved two problems, feedback reduction and better sustain.
While experimenting in his apartment in 1941, Paul nearly succumbed to electrocution. During two years of recuperation, he moved to Hollywood, supporting himself by producing radio music and forming a new trio.
In January 1948, Paul shattered his right arm and elbow in a near-fatal automobile accident on an icy Route 66 west of Davenport, Oklahoma. Doctors told Paul that they could not rebuild his elbow. Their other option was amputation. Paul was flown to Los Angeles, where his arm was set at an angle, just under 90 degrees, that allowed him to cradle and pick the guitar. It took him nearly a year and a half to recover.
In the summer of 1945, Paul met country-western singer Iris Colleen Summers. They began working together in 1948, during which time she adopted the stage name Mary Ford. They married in 1949.
Like crooner Bing Crosby, Paul and Ford used the now-ubiquitous recording technique known as “close-miking”, where the microphone is less than 6 inches from the singer's mouth. This produces a more-intimate, less-reverberant sound than is heard when a singer is 1 foot or more from the microphone.
In 1951, Gibson approached Les about making a brand new electric guitar after his specs and name. Paul specified that the guitar be offered in a gold finish, not only for flashiness, but to emphasize the high quality of the Gibson Les Paul instrument.
Released in 1952 the Gibson Les Paul's featured two P-90 single coil pickups, and a one-piece, 'trapeze'-style bridge/tailpiece with strings fitted under (instead of over) a steel stop-bar.
The guitar made its public debut when Paul used it onstage in June, 1952, at the Paramount theatre in New York. The rest is history.
Les Paul was rock musician Steve Miller's godfather and his first guitar teacher.
Among his many honors, Paul is one of a handful of artists with a permanent, stand-alone exhibit in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Les Paul died in 2009 at age 94.
All prints are produced using Giclee printing process which is used for archival art reproduction. This process uses fade-resistant archival pigment-based ink which lasts over 100 years. All prints are printed on 310GSM, Luxurious mould-made, 100% cotton rag Archival Certified watercolor paper.
Archival Conservation Mat is included with your purchase. Mat is a high quality, 4 ply (1/16″) surround mat. These frame mats are acid-free & Lignin-free made with 100% virgin alpha-cellulose surface, core and backing papers. So your caricature with mat will fit into a standard comparable frame either “20” x 24″ or “16” x 20″ depending on the print size, (frame not included). Price also includes a Backer Board.
32″ x 40″ stretch canvas print is produced by Giclee printing process and are hand stretched over heavy duty American made white pine. The canvas print is varnished twice after printing. The canvas prints are ready to hang (complete with hanging wire).
|28 × 24 × 2 in
32" x 40" Stretched Canvas Print $495, 20" x 24" Stretched Canvas Print $330, 11" x 14" Watercolor Print $95, 16" x 20" Watercolor Print $185