Leo Fender, Les Paul & Paul Bigsby walk into a garage...

Discussion in 'Fred's Barcalounge' started by radd, Apr 7, 2019.

  1. radd

    radd Country Gent

    Dec 27, 2017
    Santa cruz
    Leo’s garage (recording studio) in SoCal in the late 40’s to be specific. They talk nonstop about Electric guitars then sit in the back yard continuing their discussion as they drink their beers. The electric guitar as we know and love is not here yet.

    It must have an amazing discussion with those three collaborating and at the same time being rivals.


    I’m having a blast reading Ian Ports book that just came out.

    1FA89F3B-CC6C-4573-BEED-56E75175FB0B.jpeg
     
  2. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Age:
    71
    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    Great recommendation, radd! Thanks for posting this. I just ordered my copy!
     
    radd likes this.
  3. radd

    radd Country Gent

    Dec 27, 2017
    Santa cruz

    It is so much more than just Les and Leo. The top guitar players of the day are part of the story along with interesting bits about the men.

    Leo Fender, the electrical guy and workaholic
    Les Paul, the great musician with the ear and musical vision
    Paul Bigsby, the inventor who could build anything
     
    gjohnson441496, capnhiho and audept like this.
  4. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck Gretschified

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    I have that on my library request list.
     
    radd likes this.
  5. blueruins

    blueruins Country Gent

    May 28, 2013
    Savannah, GA
    I’ve been hearing great things about this book...thanks for reminding me!
     
    radd likes this.
  6. Sabato

    Sabato Gretschie

    419
    Mar 22, 2019
    Massachusetts
    I just reserved it as well. After giving away hundreds of books I tend to go to the library!
     
    radd likes this.
  7. 5120mantis

    5120mantis Country Gent

    Age:
    45
    Mar 6, 2011
    nj
    I'm On chapter 5 good read!
     
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  8. Scooter127

    Scooter127 Synchromatic

    502
    Feb 25, 2019
    USA
    I don't know if it's true, but I remember reading that Eric Clapton was the first to use an unwound G, and that he used a banjo string.

    Although now I'm reading Ernie Ball first did it. If I look hard enough I'll probably found something about John Lennon first doing it, lol.

    Come to think of it, I remember someone long ago adamantly stating that John Lennon invented distortion, lololololol. That's a knee slapper.
     
    Gretschtim1 likes this.
  9. radd

    radd Country Gent

    Dec 27, 2017
    Santa cruz

    I think the same thing can get invented by different people about the same time. Inventions are often times just a natural progression. Leo, Les and Paul, each were doing almost the same thing in the early solid body guitar inventing process without knowing anything about what the other two were doing.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2019
  10. ponca

    ponca Gretschie

    271
    Nov 27, 2017
    Pennsylvania
    The Beatles did everything first. Did you know that the first ever telephone call was between John Lennon and Paul McCartney? That George Harrison was the first Emperor of Rome? Many people even think Ringo Starr was the first human to harness the power of fire, but this is untrue; it was Pete Best.
     
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  11. Scooter127

    Scooter127 Synchromatic

    502
    Feb 25, 2019
    USA
    Rofl.

    At least these days we have the luxury of attempting to find the truth on the internet.

    Back in school I didn't have no "copy and paste" to plagiarize. I had to copy that poop by hand.
     
    radd and ponca like this.
  12. Sabato

    Sabato Gretschie

    419
    Mar 22, 2019
    Massachusetts
    Got this book yesterday, enjoying the history. I think the story started later than it should without talking about Adolph Rickenbacker and George Beauchamp. That's OK if it's just about Fender and Les Paul.
     
    Jena and radd like this.
  13. dafreeze

    dafreeze Friend of Fred

    Been meaning to order as well, thanks for the reminder, radd.

    Also ordered this (like the cover pic)

    B6D411FA-810C-4263-94B6-2E70D50CAACF.png
    44AEF59C-735A-42D5-8673-44EA4701B8F3.jpeg
     
    Lionpotato and radd like this.
  14. Sabato

    Sabato Gretschie

    419
    Mar 22, 2019
    Massachusetts
    I bought this Elite with Shawbuckers in 2016 and last year gave it to my (better guitar player) son who loves Strats: Elite Strat HSS II.jpg
     
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  15. dafreeze

    dafreeze Friend of Fred

    Nice gift, Pa!

    As you saw, that’s what I pic’d as well. Just an exquisite guitar in every aspect. Single piece of ash. Finest feeling guitar I’ve ever played and that neck...couldn’t be better, best neck I’ve ever had my hands in. My second Strat.

    Sent my son a Tennessee Rose out of the blue last year.

    Of the men the book is written about, Leo impressed me the most.
     
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  16. radd

    radd Country Gent

    Dec 27, 2017
    Santa cruz
    The two main characters were both very flawed, ya, I know we all are.

    Leo was the Henry Ford of the guitar world; he did not invent the solid body guitar but he mass produced it for the common person. Both men were insanely driven.
     
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  17. dafreeze

    dafreeze Friend of Fred

    Perhaps I should clarify. Given the choice, Les Paul would be the man I’d first choose to spend time with.

    It’s Leo Fenders development of amps and guitars, as a radio builder and non musician that is most impressive to me.
     
    Lionpotato and radd like this.
  18. afire

    afire Country Gent

    Pure internet myth. Plain G's have been around since before Clapton was born, and Ernie Ball was in short pants, and probably much longer.

    Here's the strings page from Gibson's 1934 catalog:
    [​IMG]

    Notice that G strings are offered in either silvered steel or wound on steel. Slightly more interesting is that the same was true of B strings. Can't imagine using a wound B.

    And this continued into the electric guitar era. Here's the strings page from the 1950 catalog:
    [​IMG]
    Again, regular steel, bronze, and electric Spanish strings were all offered with a plain G. And for the electric strings, they even offered plain G sets.

    So not only were plain G's in existence at least going back to the 1930s, they were in sufficiently common use that no less than Gibson was advertising and offering them, and by the 1950s, Gibson was offering electric string sets that included plain G's.

    So, the banjo string tales and Ernie Ball inventing the plain G are bunkum. But guitarists may have been using banjo strings to put together extra light sets, and Ernie Ball certainly had something to do with popularizing, and maybe being the first to commercially offer extra light strings. But plain G's had been around for a long time.
     
    Jena likes this.
  19. LivingMyDream

    LivingMyDream Country Gent

    Definitely going to have to get a copy of the book. Should make a good retirement read! :)
     
    radd likes this.
  20. Gretschtim1

    Gretschtim1 Country Gent

    Dec 4, 2012
    Dundalk, Md
    I think James Burton was using them long before Eric ever did.
    John Lennon was the first to use feedback on a recording as an effect on I Feel Fine but who ever made the first tube amplifier circuit was the guy who invented distortion...:D.
     
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