A Conversation for Guitar Heroes

es Paul/Grady Martin/Jimi Hendrix and Others

Post 1


I agree about Hendrix being one of the greats, but feel I must argue a few points.

Les Paul was the first person to multi-track and use tricks such as recording/playing at diffrent speeds then using the multi-track to pull it all back to the same key, ie the bass line was created by playing his guitar at a faster speed and higher key than the rest of the tracks. Then at the mixing stage he would slow that track down to the correct speed and key!!! He put in backward licks, that is, he would record a lick then reverse the tape in the machine and mix it in to the rest of the track backwards, multi-layered chorus effects on vocals and guitar, listen to 'How High the Moon' recorded in 1952.

His multi-track system was a garage full of single track recorders linked together. Apparently there were so many that the only way in and out of the garage was through a window.

He was also one of the early pioneers in the building solid body guitars (along with Leo Fender) building solid bodies in the early/mid 1940's, when he used them at gigs he had to disguise them by building false archtop bodies around them so that people would accept them as guitars. It is debatable how much direct input he had into the Gibson 'Les Paul' guitar but he was one of the first to build solid bodies.

Another truly great and influential guitarist was Grady Martin, one of Nasvilles top session men/producers. He played with all the greats of Rock n Roll/Country artists (Elvis, Roy Orbison, The Everley Brothers, Marty Robbins and to many others to mention) in the 50's and 60's. Not only playing the guitar but also creating the arrangements and supervising the recording the session. In fact any artist recording at Bradley's Barn recording studio in Nashville at that time in the pop/rock/county field would have gone through his hands.

He was also one the first to use distortion on purpose when recording (most notably on the Johnny Burnett and the Rock n Roll Trio recording sessions). Distortion had been heard/recorded before but this was mainly as a result of small valve/tube aplifiers of 5-10 watts being played at full volume to compensate for noisy gig venues or to compete with drums in the early electric blues bands of the 40's and early 50's and was often considered an undesirable but nessaccery evil by the muscians involved. Hence the work and research by the likes of Les Paul, Leo Fender and many others.

Also what about Scotty Moore, Elvis's first guitarist? He is often refered to as playing "The Guitar That Changed the World". It could be argued that without Moore there would be no Elvis and therefore no pop/rock music at all.

How about Chuck Berry? Without Chuck would there be a Hendrix? Keith Richards of the 'Rolling Stones' insists that without Chuck there would not have been a Britsh rebirth of the blues to export back to America. That is, bands like the The Stones and The Beatles (who also aknowledged Chuck as a hero) would not have had anything to take back to the US and therefore would not have become what they did. If also follows that Hendrix would not have come to the UK to play for the blues market there, and then re-export himself back to the States.

I can think of others like Carl Perkins, Buddy Holly and Cliff Gallop (Gene Vincent's guitarist on his first two albums), all three of these were massive influences on The Beatles, even their name was a play on Holly's band 'The Crickets'. Geroge Harrison's first professional guitar was a Gretch Duo Jet the same as Cliff Gallop's and he kept and used it until his sad death. I suppose the list could go on and on and on, but that is enough for now.

es Paul/Grady Martin/Jimi Hendrix and Others

Post 2

Danny B

Well, I said many times when this Entry was in CWW and PR, that it was *not* intended to be a definitive (or even undefinitive) list of guitar heroes, but an Entry about the qualities that *make* a guitar hero, with some suitable examples. If I tried to list every guitarist, throughout history, who could be considered a guitar hero, I'd have a PhD thesis, not an H2G2 Entry!

But thanks for your comments - it's a pity you weren't around when this Entry was in review smiley - ok

smiley - cheers

Les Paul/Grady Martin/Jimi Hendrix and Others

Post 3


Hi Danny

No disrespect meant, it's a cool article. I agree with all your choices, I appreciate there are so many to choose from. I was just pointing out a few of my heros and their impact.

I could have gone into the fact that Chuck was pointed in the direction of chess records by Muddy Waters - no Muddy - no Chuck and so it goes on, I think its like a family tree, you can trace it way back.

Is there a guitar forum or group in h2g2? I should we start one?

Les Paul/Grady Martin/Jimi Hendrix and Others

Post 4

Danny B

You should talk to Tonsil Revenge (U186749) - he was instrumental smiley - groan in writing a lot of the historical information in the Entry. Recumbentman (U208656) also helped on the historical/technical side.

There isn't specifically a guitar group on H2G2. There is the Musicians' Guild (U150368), where a fair few guitarists can be found. This is the second collaborative Entry that we've put together - the other was a bit more light-hearted, on Guitar-related injuries (A1124632). A lot of the collaborators worked on both entries, so I suppose we're an informal guitarists group!

Glad you liked the article! smiley - cheers

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