Les Paul in His Own Words: Hear His Last Rolling Stone Interview

August 14, 2009 1:57 PM ET

Nine months ago I sat down with Les Paul backstage in his dressing room at the Iridium nightclub for a story about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's tribute concert recently held in his honor. As we shared a bag of popcorn, Paul told me about creating the solid-body electric guitar and what drove him to keep performing a weekly show well into his 90s. "I think it's therapy," Paul said. "I think that it's the love of the instrument and the fact that rather than to grow old watching TV, or just layin' around the house trying to get from the bedroom to the bathroom, that it's better to be amongst your friends, make new friends, and to play with a younger generation of people."

Also see our Les Paul obituary, and a look back at his remarkable life in photos.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Madame George”

Van Morrison | 1968

One of the first stream-of-consciousness epics to make it onto a Van Morrison record, his drawn-out farewell to the eccentric "Madame George" lasted nearly 10 minutes, combining ingredients from folk, jazz and classical music. The character that gave the song its title provoked speculation that it was about a drag queen, though Morrison denied this in Rolling Stone. "If you see it as a male or a female or whatever, it's your trip," he remarked. "I see it as a ... a Swiss cheese sandwich. Something like that."

More Song Stories entries »