LES PAUL's mother showed unwavering faith in her child. She instincively knew that his curiosity was a good thing that should be nurtured. Just LOOK what she started!
LES PAUL- excerpt from an interview by David Elliott
David: Do you think your mother and father had a big influence on
the fact that youre so involved in music?
LES: My mother I owe an awful lot to, because although she didnt
force me to play the instrument, she encouraged me in a very different
way. We get a telephone in the house, and I looked at it, and next thing you
know I got it all apart. I can remember: my brother is seven years older than
me so Ralph would say, "Hey Ma kids got the phone
apart in the living room!" and Mother would say, "Well, hell
put it back together again. Its OK." I took the piano apart. I
did a hysterectomy on that thing. And again, my mother says, "Dont
worry about it, Ralph, hell put it back together again. Hes curious.
He just wants to know." My brother if it was a light switch -
he threw it, and it went on, and that was the end of it. And I was different.
I just wanted to know just what happened between turning that switch on the
wall and the light comin on in the room. I wanted to know why.
David: Did you get that piano put back together?
LES: [laughs] Heck, I sure did! I wanted to make it into a Steinway
or a Baldwin. I wanted to make it into a professional piano with a sostenuto
pedal. And here I am nine years old. Ive got these great ideas of doing
this with a Kimball player piano. And so I rigged up the damnedest thing you
ever could have imagined. But it worked. It worked! And when I got it together
I guess my brother didnt appreciate it or my father only
my mother. I guess my mother was very proud of me because I could do those
things. She would compliment me but she would never drive me. So I was never
driven like maybe some of these kids that grew up in a suitcase because their
mother or father were in show business. I just had a person that believed.
I believe that it had a great bearing on me being comfortable at home
never had to leave that house. It was a laboratory
there was no place
to buy anything, so your main source was to build it. And I happen to be a
person whos just terribly curious about something - or just want it
right. It could be classed as a disease, but I never thought of it that way
I always looked at work as a privilege. So this is the way I approach things
is: that how lucky I am at 87 years old that I can go to work, make people
laugh, make people happy, and they in turn can make me healthy and happy.
Its the greatest therapy in the world, is to be able to go to work,
and enjoy your work. Now maybe if I was a plumber I couldnt grab my
wife and say, "Hey - I want you to go over and see this connection I
made. Or a butcher, saying, "Watch how I can take this cleaver and cut
this meat". He may not have that kind of a relationship that he can share
this with. But with the guitar - you can share this. With a person from China
that doesnt speak a word of English. I never stop thinking about it.
Read the rest of the interview here... shared courtesy of Silverplume Inkwell
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