Friends, today is Les Paul's birthday. He was born 9 June 1915 so he would have been 96 today.
For those of you who may not know Les Paul, he was a truly influential visionary in the guitar world. Wikipedia calls him "an American jazz and country guitarist, songwriter and inventor. He was a pioneer in the development of the solid-body electric guitar which 'made the sound of rock and roll possible.'" Amen to that and more.
You may know of the legendary Gibson electric guitar named after Les Paul; in the picture to the right, the man himself is playing one of those guitars. So what you're seeing is Les Paul playing a Les Paul at the Iridium Jazz Club in New York City in 2008.
In celebration of Les Paul's birthday, Google has created an interactive logo for today that can be played like a guitar, using your mouse to strum! Push the black button below the logo, and try playing the keys on your keyboard, especially the number keys.
If you're in the US, pushing that black button will also allow you to record 30 seconds of what you plink and plunk, then play it back! After you finish recording, you'll see a web address show up below the logo. You can copy that and send it to people to play in their own browsers. AMAZING! Google, you rock.
Here's the skinny on today's interactive Google logo (or "doodle")
On a less musically impressive note (sorry, bad pun there), try playing this on your number keys (the ones above the letters, not the keypad):
Yup, 4 is off (should be "4-sharp" — a half-step between 4 and 5, that is) but hey, it's still pretty tremendous. And patriotic.
Okay, all for now. Have fun playing the Les Paul Google Doodle.
Added 11 June 2011: The Les Paul Google Doodle has now moved from the main Google page to the Doodle archive. Click on the link next to the date above the doodle.
I've fixed the links in the text above to work properly (i.e., to jump to the archived doodle).
Oh, also, Alexander Chen's lovely demo tune in the Googleblog page linked above will play properly as well, so go listen to it again.
In any case, we can all keep playing and recording on the Les Paul doodle. Thanks, Google!
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