A unique concert celebrating the legacy of guitar innovator Les Paul and featuring an incredible combination of guitars and other ephemera from his personal collection is coming to Newport on Friday, August 9th.
The 2nd Annual Les Paul Memorial, which is scheduled for 8 pm to 1 am at Parlor in Newport, includes some of RI’s best bands – confirmed acts include Dopey Lopes with his Up All Night Band, The BickerSins, The Rockingham Express featuring Rick Santos and Johnny Edwards, Bird n’ Horse, The Dirty 5, The Debutantes and Luis Mateos – Solo Cash.
Also appearing will be New Jersey resident Jim Wysocki, a personal friend of the famed inventor/guitarist for nearly 30 years. Jim met Les while employed as a police officer in Mahwah, NJ. They developed a very close relationship from their first meeting in 1981. Les looked to Jim as a confidant since he was far removed from the entertainment industry in those early years. Jim’s stories of Les are nothing short of amazing.
Jim will be “at large” at the Parlor to speak with patrons about the history behind each instrument along with personal stories about Les Paul. Guitars will include Les’ 1952 ES-295, 1969 Les Paul Custom, 53 Epiphone , 50’s l-48, and many others from Jim’s collection. Additional Guitars will include the 1971 Les Paul Recording, 1987 Les Paul Jr., 1971 Gibson C300B Acoustic, and the 1981 Les Paul XR1 from the collection of local performer David Lopes. We will also exhibit Paul’s first 3-4 track recording machine which he built himself and upon which many of his early hits with Mary Ford were recorded.
In accordance with Paul’s wishes, Jim and David make the guitars available for audience members and artists to “touch and play history.” Everyone is free to play any of the guitars on exhibit. Les expressed to many people that he did not want his guitars locked away in a vault. Together, Jim and David create a pop up museum loaded with educational material and history that is engaging for guitarists, music lovers and the general public! This is a unique opportunity to see, touch, and play music history!
Click here for further details on the Les Paul event. Advance tickets are discounted at $12.50 on Eventbrite, $15.00 at the door on day of show.