JUST BEFORE HIS 90TH BIRTHDAY, the late guitar pioneer Les Paul sat down to explain how he went from working at a drive-in barbecue to inventing the hallowed six-string instrument that bears his name. It seems he was inspired to create his trailblazing solid-bodied electric guitar - which would give the world the tool to rock - because his audience of passing customers couldn’t hear him over the traffic. “People would drive up and listen to this guy – me, I was Red Hot Red then,” he explained in an interview filmed four years before his death in 2009. “A car hop came over to me with a note saying: ‘Your voice and your harmonica and your jokes are funny, I can hear them well, but the guitar is not loud enough.’
“That really, really interested me so I went home and started work on the electric guitar."
MOJO's friends at Q Magazine are set to bestow a very special artist with the Gibson Les Paul Award at the Q Awards 2014 tomorrow (Wednesday October 22). The interview, below, also sees Paul discussing his solo career, his work with iconic guitarists and more.