Les Paul Would Have Loved This!

Today would have been Les Paul’s 96th birthday. Google commemorated it by an interactive guitar Google Doodle, which is pretty neat. I discovered it last night, and since then have been having way too much fun sounding terrible!

This brings back memories of visiting relatives in another state.  My 16-year-old cousin had been given an electric guitar for his birthday, and he let me try it out. I was almost 12. I refused to use a pick, and I ended up rubbing a water blister on my thumb, but I didn’t care. I was way too into strumming it and playing the various chords. The guitar was glossy and red, yellow, brown, and black–or some combination of those colors–and I couldn’t get enough. When I got tired trying to hold it the regular way, I laid it carefully on my lap, picking the strings fast–just like I’d seen some country musicians do. My cousin helped me when I needed it.

Good thing there were no music critics around. If my cousin–always a big teaser–was annoyed, he never, ever showed it. I’ve always appreciated that.

The neat thing about this Google Doodle is that you can record, play back, and use the keyboard to strum rather than work with a mouse or trackball. I learned a lot from the Post’s blog today. Melissa Bell shared the work of someone named Mark, who played Pachelbel’s Canon in D. Here’s the Post’s Michael Cavna, who posted someone’s version of “Ode to Joy.”

Here’s a little on Les Paul, the great man himself.

And here’s me, being my usual untalented, quirky self. I know this sounds awful, but I got a real kick out of it. Enjoy it if you can. I named “Just Hangin’ Around.”


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