One was from Waukesha, Wisconsin, and the other is from Planet Fierce. One was known as the Wizard, the other is known as the Alien. One played the guitar, the other uses no instrument but his magical voice. On the surface, Les Paul and Adam Lambert would seem to have little in common other than their love of performing music.
Now I don’t know how many of you know who Les Paul was, but where I come from, he’s a legend. He hailed from Waukesha, only a few miles from where I live in Milwaukee. He died on August 13th at the age of 94. He sang pop and jazz and played the guitar, but what he’s best known for are his innovations in recording and electric guitar design, specifically his pioneer work in the evolution of the solid body electric guitar and multi-track recording. Though Les never actually played rock and roll, his influence has been felt since the beginning of the rock era, and even after the age of 90, he continued to play regularly in New York. But what really caught my attention yesterday was a local news report that included an interview with Les from a couple of years ago. In that interview Les stated how important his fans were to him, and that he always made time for personal contact with fans – posing for photos and signing autographs.
Now I know Adam has missed signing sessions for a variety of reasons, but I still believe that his fans are immensely important to him, and when I heard that interview with Les Paul, I immediately thought of Adam and how similar they seemed to me in that regard.
Les stated that during his autograph sessions he signed everything under the sun – books, CDs, pictures, programs, guitars, ball caps and body parts. It’s reported that a professor from Texas, who was in New York with a group of students, insisted Les sign her breast with a felt pen, and he cheerfully obliged.
“I sign lots of boobs,” Les said.
I read that, and in my head I can hear Adam laughing. The Wizard of Waukesha will be missed. Let’s hope that our new legend-in-the-making is around until the age of 94.
~~Jeanette, Glamb #5