SESSION shenanigans
Guitar Techniques|November 2020
SESSION shenanigans
The studio guitarist’s guide to happiness and personal fulfilment, as related by session ace Mitch Dalton. This month: “Be an original - like all the others.”
Mitch Dalton

I am quietly confident that the Gibson guitar company would have sold considerably fewer examples of the Lester William Polsfuss Custom model had the gentleman not had the good sense to Americanise his moniker for professional purposes. But back in the Boring Twenties in Waukesha, Wisconsin, the putative inventor, innovator, and genius had come to a conspiratorial arrangement with his teenage chum. He had attached a cord to the bedpost and dangled it from the window every evening. If anything interesting was happening guitar-wise at the solitary local club, his accomplice was instructed to run over to the house and give the Yank a yank. (Sorry. It had to be done.)

And as Mr. Paul later recounted, it came to pass that he was woken one night by this crude method, accompanied by a stage whispered “Pssst! You gotta come! There’s a guy in town playing past the third fret!” “No way! No one does that!” Nevertheless, an incredulous 13-year-old Lester shimmied down the drainpipe, and a few minutes later was watching transfixed as his mentor-to-be and future employer, Joe Wolverton, did imaginable things on a guitar. The rest is a mystery. The stage, radio and recording career, the guitar designs, the overdubbing, tape delay, phasing and multitracking. You couldn’t make it up. But Les Paul did.

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November 2020