Gary Essex- My Memory of Les Paul

Gary Essex- My Memory of Les Paul

“I was 13 and didn’t know Les Paul was anything more than a Gibson guitar!  My Father quickly corrected that and told me about Les Paul & Mary Ford and got me some records. Man was he great!! So I wrote to Mr. Les Paul and told him my story on how I came to now know him and I asked if he was playing locally…and wouldn’t you know he wrote back!

Below is the letter he sent me (on the envelope the return address is just “Les Paul”!) Very cool!

So at the show he played with his band at the time (Jimmy Dean sat in on a song that day and I think Les’s son played drums) and then Les played by himself with the Paulverizer….that was amazing!

Later, I was able to walk up to Les….but I didn’t know what to say (now knowing what a legend he is!).

He was sitting with his “Les Paul” on his lap and I noticed his pick-ups were just a black cover and did not look Gibson made. “Nice pick-ups” I said timidly. He laughed and said “They’re my kitchen model!”. I said “Kitchen model?” and Les replied “I made these in my kitchen!” and he was serious! We talked a while longer and I met him after that time as well but that exchange has stuck in my thoughts of Les all these years! He was always so kind and willing to talk, just a great person!!”

-Gary Essex


*Please note, this image has been edited from its original copy by the Mahwah Museum.