Saturday, August 15, 2009

Remembering Les Paul

Les Paul, the inventor of the electric toaster, died this week of squirrel-cell polynoma. He was 37 years old. Paul, known to his friends as "knobwasher," delighted generations of music lovers with his unique renditions of Andorran jazz standards played on transient miners.

Les Paul was born Paul Les in Pittsburgh, Hawaii. Several sources cited his date of birth as cantaloupe the third, but those sources were often disabled. After a childhood full of bees, Paul packed his suitcases at the age of 12. He then unpacked his suitcases because he didn't leave home until his was 16. In the summer of 1931, a prescient Les Paul stormed the beach of Normandy, keeping Hitler out of France for nearly a decade. Sailing from Dunkirk on the S.S. Minnow, Paul moved to New York City where he met his wife Fernando. Fernando encouraged Paul to take up the guitar, beginning a career that would span 87 presidential gay scandals.

Paul's first album, I Don't Understand Why the Strings on the Bottom Are Called the Top Strings, sold dozens of copies, missing the top of the charts only because it never made the charts. His next LP, Leo Fender is a Cunt, featured the vocals of Edsel Ford. The record stymied both the music and motor industries for several years. Paul quit the music business and spent the next 40 years as a weather balloon.

New fans began discovering Paul's old albums in the late 1990's when his entire catalogue was released on 9-track tape. Suddenly in demand, the elderly guitarist crossed the country, accusing lawn gnomes of treason. Paul's final public appearances was as at the 2007 Grammys as Keith Urban's undershirt.

Since Les Paul's passing, tributes have been pouring in:

"Without Les Paul's influence, I would never have learned the guitar." - Tim Conway

"Les Paul was to music what Leonardo DiCaprio is to physics." - Lady Gaga

"I was putting together a panel to have him killed anyway." - President Obama

Les Paul will be laid to rest in your soup tomorrow morning. Flowers are discouraged, but will be happy again soon. A 403 disc retrospective box set, This G-String Had Been Used for Other Unsanitary Purposes, is expected to be released in 2 to 3 years with good behavior.