Known as the “Father of the Solid Body Electric Guitar,” guitar hero Les Paul has influenced a number of great players, including Slash, ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, Joan Jett and Jimi Hendrix. In honor of the 100th anniversary of his birth, the New Sound: Les Paul and the Electric Guitar, a traveling exhibit that features numerous artifacts related to Paul’s life and career, has hit the road.
Housed in a mobile touring vehicle, the exhibit includes the very first guitar he owned as a child, his first attempt to make an electric solid-body guitar out of a wood plank, the “Clunker” (which he used on his most famous recordings) and a very early model Gibson Les Paul. The exhibit also includes artifacts from his childhood home as well as other inventions and innovations. And it even features clips from The Les Paul & Mary Ford at Home
show, a television series that aired from 1953 to 1960.
Dubbed Les Paul’s Big Sound Experience, the mobile exhibit provides “an exclusive look inside the world of Les Paul and the opportunity to interact with the state-of-the-art technology produced aboard the mobile touring vehicle for all to enjoy.” The tour arrives in Cleveland on Wednesday and events are scheduled at the Rock Hall and at the Rock Hall through Sunday. On Wednesday, the exhibit will open at Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park from noon to 8 p.m. On Friday, the exhibit will open at the Rock Hall and remain there through Sunday. The hours at the Rock Hall are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, from noon to 9 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
“Cleveland was always very special to Les,” says Michael Braunstein, Executive Director of the Les Paul Foundation, in a press release. “This is the city that hosted the last tribute concert at the Rock Hall and in which many of his friends are from. He is also honored at the Rock Hall with a great exhibit that I hope everyone has a chance to visit.”
Here’s the schedule of related performances by local bands:
At the Hard Rock Rocksino
At 3 p.m. – Abe Lamarca
At 4 p.m. – Bob Ventre
At 5 p.m. – Robin Stone
At 6 p.m. – Mark McGuire
At 7 p.m. – Slave
At The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Musuem
At 2:30 p.m. – The Ohio Weather Band
At 3:30 p.m. – The Admirables
At 3 p.m. – Vibe & Direct
At 4 p.m. – Bad Veins
At 2 p.m. – Marcus Alan Ward
At 3 p.m. – Yellow Paper Planes
At 4 p.m. – Broccoli Samurai