I was excited to meet the man who basically invented the electric guitar (including the one that bears his name), at his home where I was sent to photograph him for a magazine cover story. Les kept “musician hours” and when I arrived at 4pm he was just getting up. We chatted then got down to shooting. We started in his living room which was strewn with microphones and old tube amplifiers, then looked around the house for another location. We wandered around for a while and finally came to a room. “What is this?” I asked. “Oh, this is my bedroom. I keep all the guitars that Gibson sends me here to inspect.” I asked Les where he slept. “Oh, shit man, I sleep down the hall in the guest room!” We continued shooting into the evening and Les offered to fix us something to eat. As he cooked and we talked, I noticed this contraption on the dining table. “What’s this thing, Les?” I asked. “That thing? That’s the first multitrack recording system that I built a while ago. The Smithsonian wants it when I die.” Les Paul wasn’t only a musician. He was history itself.
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