Those who have followed my blogs in the past might recall a visit to the Waukesha County Museum when there was first talk of having a Les Paul exhibit in the city of his birth. It has been a lengthy process, and the museum announced last fall that they have hired a firm to complete the project. When I attended the preview of the exhibit, there were high hopes that the “Guitar Wizard” himself might attend the Grand Opening. Sadly, that was not the case since he passed away at the age of 94 in 2009.
There is also a wonderful Les Paul House of Sound Exhibit at Discovery World in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Recently, several positive things have been happening in the area. It was announced on February 28th that various artists from southeastern Wisconsin will be working on 10 replica and 20 regular Gibson Les Paul guitars, turning them into works of art. According to the article, ten-foot tall fiberglass guitar sculptures will be staged beginning about June 1st along Main Street in Waukesha. Other artists will be working on playable Gibson guitars. These will be completed by the Gibson Guitar Corporation with strings and other finishing hardware at locations to be determined. It should be a phenomenal display and I look forward to viewing them in person as soon as they are available.
Another bit of good news was offered on February 16th when the Les Paul Foundation announced it had helped the Wisconsin Historical Society Press to create the newest book about Les Paul! Entitled Les Paul: Guitar Wizard, it has 112 pages and is aimed at young readers. It also offers a quick read for those looking for an accurate synopsis about the Father of the Electric guitar. The book is now available at WisonsinHistory.org.
For collectors and musicians alike, Les Paul Gibson guitars continue to be highly sought after and collected. It’s nice to see he is gone but never forgotten!