In LES PAUL - CHASING SOUND, the legendary Les Paul, father of the solid-body electric guitar, inventor of overdubbing and multi-track recording, king of the '50s pop charts, rock 'n' roll pioneer, tells his own rags-to-riches story in a performance-documentary by filmmakers John Paulson and James Arnts - with a wall-to-wall soundtrack of the greatest hits from "Hold That Tiger" to "My Generation."
A joyous 90th-birthday celebration at the Iridium Jazz Club and the accolades that follow (induction into National Inventors Hall of Fame, Grammy-winning "rock duets" album; School of Rock tribute at Roseland, lifetime achievement award from Songwriters Hall of Fame) provide the verité framing device for Mr. Paul's lively recollections of his remarkable life.
An artful blend of interviews, vintage film and television clips, recordings, radio show excerpts, still photographs, advertising art, personal memorabilia and a rich variety of location B-roll illustrate Mr. Paul's narrative and examine his accomplishments in the distinctive in-depth style of American Masters.
The intricate technology and sensuous beauty of solid-body electric guitars will be of special interest to the filmmakers, who will employ computer animation and still-life artistry to examine and display the legendary Les Paul guitars and the genius of their inventor.
Les Paul has been "chasing the perfect sound" since his boyhood in Waukesha, Wisconsin, when he punched new chords into his mother's piano roll and turned his bedsprings into a radio antenna which would pull in the raucous jazz broadcasts from Chicago and the lonesome harmonica from the Grand Old Opry.
Irascible, egotistical, indefatigable, an inveterate tinkerer and practical joker, he's the last of that self-educated, brilliantly innovative generation of musicians and media pioneers who revolutionized popular music and re-invented the global culture.