Video Review

Les Paul: The Living Legend of the Electric Guitar

MPAA Rating: Unrated

Details Movie Rated: Unrated; Genre: Musical; With: Les Paul

It's no small accomplishment to take a subject as ebullient and colorful as Les Paul and produce a video that starts this dryly and fails to sock home Paul's importance. As the developer (with Mary Ford) and popularizer of the electric guitar, multitrack recording, tape echo, and more, five-time Grammy winner Paul profoundly altered the course of popular music. Don't be put off by Les Paul: The Living Legend of the Electric Guitar's ponderous prologue, in which a narrator leadenly tells stories Paul could tell better and partly obscures prime vintage recordings and film clips. The magic comes when the camera enters Fat Tuesday's, the Manhattan club Paul calls home, and we see the pop guitar wizard playing ''Avalon,'' ''Stardust,'' and 10 other classics he has honed over a lifetime. At 76, his pace is gentler — but his unique sound is as wonderfully bright, schmaltzy, and big-hearted as ever. B

Originally posted Feb 12, 1993 Published in issue #157 Feb 12, 1993 Order article reprints

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