Jeff Beck on Les Paul, Rod Stewart and John Mayer as the 'New Eric Clapton'
Jeff Beck's new DVD, 'Rock 'n' Roll Party Honoring Les Paul,' is a tribute concert recorded on what would have been the father of the electric guitar's 95th birthday.
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Les Paul, who also sold millions of albums as a musician with his wife Mary Ford in the '50s, literally changed the face of rock 'n' roll with his invention of the solid-body electric guitar. When he passed away on August 12, 2009, tributes poured in publicly from Slash, the Edge, Keith Richards, Richie Sambora, Brian Wilson, Pat Metheny, Billy Gibbons and more. But Beck -- a guitar legend himself -- went a step further on June 9 by putting on a show in Paul's honour at New York's Iridium Jazz Club, where the legend had held down a Monday night residency for over a decade.
Spinner spoke to Beck about the special tribute project and the legacy of Les Paul.
Did you go to the Iridium to see Les Paul whenever you were in New York?
I never went to the Iridium. I saw him when his weekly gig was uptown near Columbus Circle. There was a hotel with a basement in it, and I did go to one of his birthday parties there. I got dragged up on stage [laughs], but then I started playing and he got up and walked off. It was the funniest thing ever. He said, 'I've got some friends that just arrived. Carry on!'"
This is probably a silly question, but at the tribute show -- no matter what your beliefs -- could you feel his presence in that room?
Yeah. The whole place I think felt it. It was an event that you had to have at that venue. Anywhere else -- if it had been at the Beacon Theatre, which we are going to