Recording - November 2009 - 13

That’s the beginning of being with Gibson—never left them! Never left Gibson for any reason at all, and Leo Fender would come to my backyard and he begged me to be partners with him to start this company, the Fender company, and I says, “Naw, Gibson’s the largest in the world, they make the best guitars.” I says, “You with your ironing board, you do what you’re doin’ but I’m gonna stick with my ideas and take them to the Gibson people.” Developing the electric guitar It came from the Gibson L-5 that I played, the only problem was one that I was stuck with all that time, and that is acoustical feedback. I had my mother’s radio which I played this guitar through. First I took a phonograph pickup, jammed the needle in by the bridge, which is the same as a piezo pickup today. Ok, that didn’t work, so I chucked my socks, my shirts, shorts, tablecloth inside Finally I took my guitar and filled it with plaster of Paris. Nothing could do what a solid piece of wood would do. But first I made it with a piece of railroad track, and I said “I wanna find out just what happens.” And with a piece of railroad track, with a string stretched across, two spikes here, and I tightened the string up. The next thing was I put a pickup underneath, and it was right here, on the telephone. All I had to do is to pop it out, it is already humbucked! I placed the pickup underneath there, fed it into my mother’s radio, and I says, “Mother, I got it.” with the Andrews Sisters here with my quartet.” She got me to thinkin’—my Mom was really a great part of my thinking—she says, “If everybody sounds like you and your own mother can’t tell the difference between you and the other guy, you should do something about it.” And I made up my mind that I was gonna jump ship, go out to California, go in my garage and I wasn’t gonna come out of that garage—I’m gonna lock myself up in that garage with all my equipment and come up with something so different that my mother will know me in a second, besides my style of playing. Bing Crosby had called, Gracie Allen and George Burns had called—all the shows that I had played on out there, they asked, “What’s the matter with you, Les?” I was just searching for a sound that my mother could tell me from anybody else. That really was what turned me around, the fact that, yes, everybody picks up a guitar, plugs in the amplifier, and they’ll sound very similar. Tape makes it possible I was playing with Judy Garland at the time, with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra, and there was a little guy and he’s kinda drawing my attention by waving at me, and finally I walked over to the guy and I says, “Are you trying to contact me here?” and he says, “Yes Sir, my name is Colonel Ranger, Dick Ranger,” and I says, “Dick, what can I do for you?” and he says, “Fairchild (Sherman Fairchild, a very Interview and photos by Rod Tanaka And my mother says, “The day you see Gene Autry on a horse, playing a piece of railroad track ” So I says, “I guess it has to be wood.” So I took a piece of wood and it was gawdawful compared to the railroad track, so I went to more dense wood, it would sustain longer, and I started to make a stop bar and these things that were important to the guitar to make it sustain. Then I lightened it up as much as possible to still have that sound. Which Gibson has carried all these years. That was the secret. Searching for sound-on-sound The sound-on-sound came about when we were right here in Las Vegas, and we were playin’ for Bugsy Siegel at the Flamingo Hotel, and I said to Lou Levy, the manager of the Andrews Sisters and married to Maxene, “You can have the trio, I’m leaving,” and the reason was this: My mother drove from Waukesha, Wisconsin, to the Oriental Hotel just prior to arriving at this Flamingo Club gig, and my mother says, “Lester, I heard you last night on the radio, you were great.” I says, “Mom, it wasn’t me, I’m playing seven shows a day dear friend of mine, he was Fairchild airplanes, Fairchild cameras he like owned Long Island ) says I have something you might be interested in, a tape machine we confiscated from the Germans.” When they walked in, in 1945 at the end of the war, and saw that the Nazis had these tape machines, they brought them home, and Colonel Ranger had one, he was an electronics engineer, and he took me to Belleville, New Jersey, it was on a Sunday, and I heard the first tape machine. And I said to Bing Crosby, “Now you can be on the golf course, this is heaven for you.” [From www.ampex.com: “1948— American Broadcasting Company (ABC) uses an Ampex Model 200 audio recorder for the first ever U.S. tape delay radio broadcast of The Bing Crosby Show”.—Ed.] When the first one was built, by Ampex, or one of the first ones, all of a sudden there comes Bing by my garage where I’m doin’ what my mother told me, I’m developing my own thing and I was busy recording with my disk recorders, and Bing comes in and says, “Hi, Les, I got something for you, it’s in the trunk of my car.” So I figured it was RECORDING NOVEMBER 2009
http://www.ampex.com

Recording - November 2009

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - November 2009

Recording - November 2009
Fade In
Contents
Talkback
Fast Forward
Les Paul Speaks
Cakewalk SONAR V-Studio 700
The Hybrid Guitar Recording Method—A Modern Way of Tracking Serious Tones, Part 1
Radial JDX and Phazer
Shure SM27 and SM137 Microphones
Eventide PitchFactor
Recording’s Guitar Column
Lexicon I•ONIX U42S RecordingInterface
Recording’s Showcase of Sounds
Readers’ Tapes
Vibesware GR-1 Guitar Resonator
BOSS ME-70 Guitar Multiple Effects
Line 6 BackTrack and BackTrack + Mic
Advertiser Index
Fade Out
Recording - November 2009 - Recording - November 2009
Recording - November 2009 - Cover2
Recording - November 2009 - 1
Recording - November 2009 - Fade In
Recording - November 2009 - 3
Recording - November 2009 - Contents
Recording - November 2009 - 5
Recording - November 2009 - Talkback
Recording - November 2009 - 7
Recording - November 2009 - Fast Forward
Recording - November 2009 - 9
Recording - November 2009 - 10
Recording - November 2009 - 11
Recording - November 2009 - Les Paul Speaks
Recording - November 2009 - 13
Recording - November 2009 - 14
Recording - November 2009 - 15
Recording - November 2009 - Cakewalk SONAR V-Studio 700
Recording - November 2009 - 17
Recording - November 2009 - 18
Recording - November 2009 - 19
Recording - November 2009 - 20
Recording - November 2009 - 21
Recording - November 2009 - 22
Recording - November 2009 - 23
Recording - November 2009 - The Hybrid Guitar Recording Method—A Modern Way of Tracking Serious Tones, Part 1
Recording - November 2009 - 25
Recording - November 2009 - 26
Recording - November 2009 - 27
Recording - November 2009 - 28
Recording - November 2009 - 29
Recording - November 2009 - 30
Recording - November 2009 - 31
Recording - November 2009 - Radial JDX and Phazer
Recording - November 2009 - 33
Recording - November 2009 - Shure SM27 and SM137 Microphones
Recording - November 2009 - 35
Recording - November 2009 - Eventide PitchFactor
Recording - November 2009 - 37
Recording - November 2009 - Recording’s Guitar Column
Recording - November 2009 - 39
Recording - November 2009 - Lexicon I•ONIX U42S RecordingInterface
Recording - November 2009 - 41
Recording - November 2009 - Recording’s Showcase of Sounds
Recording - November 2009 - 43
Recording - November 2009 - 44
Recording - November 2009 - 45
Recording - November 2009 - 46
Recording - November 2009 - 47
Recording - November 2009 - 48
Recording - November 2009 - 49
Recording - November 2009 - Readers’ Tapes
Recording - November 2009 - 51
Recording - November 2009 - Vibesware GR-1 Guitar Resonator
Recording - November 2009 - 53
Recording - November 2009 - BOSS ME-70 Guitar Multiple Effects
Recording - November 2009 - 55
Recording - November 2009 - Line 6 BackTrack and BackTrack + Mic
Recording - November 2009 - Advertiser Index
Recording - November 2009 - 58
Recording - November 2009 - 59
Recording - November 2009 - 60
Recording - November 2009 - 61
Recording - November 2009 - 62
Recording - November 2009 - 63
Recording - November 2009 - Fade Out
Recording - November 2009 - Cover3
Recording - November 2009 - Cover4
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