On Saturday July 19th, Epiphone representative Will Jones had the opportunity to chat with the legendary Les Paul! Les was in Nashville to participate in Gibson Customs 10th anniversary celebration and we were honored to talk with the living legend.
Epiphone: Les, first off let me thank you for your time and for all you have done for music! My first question however is about "The Log": I understand you built it on the weekends?
Les Paul: "Yes, that's right I built the guitar at the Epiphone factory on Sundays when they were closed. I had the run of the place, did what ever I wanted."
Epiphone: So, the Log was made from a 4"x 4" piece of wood AND Epiphone parts?
Les Paul: "That's right. I used a 4"x 4" piece of pine and Epiphone body parts for wings and an Epiphone neck. I made the pickups myself."
Epiphone: The original headstock on the Log was Epiphone?
Les Paul: "Yes, when I signed on with Gibson later on they changed the name on it."
Epiphone: Did Epi and the boys at Epiphone support your experiments?
Les Paul: "They all thought I was crazy. Hell, Gibson thought I was crazy."
Epiphone: So how well did you know Epi Stathopoulo?
Les Paul: "I knew him very well; we were good friends, very good friends. I knew all those guys at Epiphone real well. Years after when Epiphone went down, we all stood around and held hands and cried." I told Mr. Berlin at Gibson he should buy out Epiphone. Keep the name going, 'cause they always made damn fine guitars and had a real good name with players. You know I had several Epiphones that I have played over the years and I loved them."
Epiphone: What was Epi's personality like? Was he as funny as you?
Les Paul: "No, he was pretty serious most of the time. He had a good sense of humor, but he was a serious man for the most part."
Epiphone: So what do you think of today's Epiphone products, especially the Les Paul's from Epiphone?
Les Paul: "They are damn fine instruments, I swear by them! People can buy one of my guitars no matter how much money they have. A kid can get an Epiphone and have something worth something, not a hunk-of-junk like the other brands. He can learn well on one and have it and play it the rest of his life. Epiphone is meeting standards of quality like Gibson which I am proud to see. I tell you they are damn fine instruments!
Epiphone: Any words of wisdom today to the young folks out there just getting started on guitar?
Les Paul: "Just that they need a good guitar like an Epiphone so they won't get discouraged; so they will practice and work hard and enjoy their music."