Friday, August 14, 2009

Les Paul

Lester William Polsfuss, known as Les Paul (June 9, 1915 – August 13, 2009) was a musician and inventor. He was a pioneer in the development of the solid-body electric guitar, which "made the sound of rock and roll possible."[1] He is credited with inventing or discovering many recording innovations including overdubbing (also known as sound on sound),[2] delay effects such as tape delay, phasing effects, and multitrack recording.[3]

His innovative talents extended into his playing style, including licks, trills, chording sequences, fretting techniques and timing, which set him apart from his contemporaries and inspired many of the guitarists of the present day.[4][5][6][7] He recorded with his wife Mary Ford in the 1950s and they sold millions of hit records.

His experimenting sometimes got him in trouble.

He nearly electrocuted himself to death at home in the 1940s, and in 1948 he was in a near-fatal car accident that shattered his right arm and elbow. But he famously told doctors to set it in the cast in a guitar-picking position so he could continue to play.

Paul also was responsible for changes in the way music was recorded with his advances in multi-track engineering, tape delay, close-in microphones for vocals and playback speeds.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Radio Heads: Harry Patch Ode

You Tube Video and Music Song

Harry Patch at 109 at the Battle Field of Ypres near the Belgian village of Passchendaele, which he remembered as "mud, mud and more mud mixed together with blood."

"Anyone who tells you that in the trenches they weren't scared, he's a damned liar. You were scared all the time," Patch was quoted as saying in the book, "The Last Fighting Tommy," written with historian Richard van Emden.

Harry Patch (In Memory Of)
"i am the only one that got through
the others died where ever they fell
it was an ambush
they came up from all sides
give your leaders each a gun and then let them fight it out themselves
i've seen devils coming up from the ground
i've seen hell upon this earth
the next will be chemical but they will never learn"

Recently the last remaining UK veteran of the 1st world war Harry Patch died at the age of 111. I had heard a very emotional interview with him a few years ago on the Today program on Radio4. The way he talked about war had a profound effect on me.
It became the inspiration for a song that we happened to record a few weeks before his death. It was done live in an abbey. The strings were arranged by Jonny.
I very much hope the song does justice to his memory as the last survivor.
It would be very easy for our generation to forget the true horror of war, without the likes of Harry to remind us.
I hope we do not forget.

As Harry himself said
"Irrespective of the uniforms we wore, we were all victims".