There’s nothing quite like stepping on a stage that has incredible history, and every time I do that at the Iridium Club in NYC, I am reminded of the large legacy and shadow cast by the great Les Paul at that place! This is an historic club, where Les made his Monday night appearances for so many years, and it’s the second location of the Iridium, with the first one having been further uptown by Lincoln Center. I did get to play with Les at that first iridium, and even saw him play at the old Fat Tuesday’s back in the ‘80s. Whenever we did anything together, even like when we performed together at Tramps for the Danny Gatton tribute concerts, it was a truly memorable and powerful moment!
This time, I got to play with the wonderful Lou Pallo and the Les Paul Trio there, along with my daughter, Lexie Roth, who sang several great tunes. She and I had just had the honor of playing with Lou on the new Les Paul Tribute album he’s making, which will feature many other top guitar luminaries! Lexie sang “Via Con Dios”, the old Les and Mary hit, and I got to record an instrumental version of “Mr. Sandman.”
In a few days, I will get to perform there again with Rusty Paul, Les’ son, along with other guitar friends of mine, such as Gene Cornish, Johnny A. and Jimmy Vivino. I should be a total blast, and I look forward to this immensely! It’ll be a totally different experience musically, and I think a lot of what we’ll be doing is “winging it.” This is no problem for us, seeing that there will be literally hundreds of combined years of musical experience and knowledge up there onstage, and I’m sure anyone can call out any kind of tune, and we can handle it! These are really the kinds of moments you as a guitar player should live for, and is always a good idea to do, especially in terms of getting out there and receiving more exposure.
I’ve certainly been doing a lot of these kinds of musical happenings lately, and it’s really quite invigorating when you can go from many days in the studio to suddenly being onstage somewhere, and playing either what you just recorded, or what might simply just come to mind! Either way, you’re always expanding your musical scope and knowledge, and I certainly recommend this kind of activity!
So, once again, the legacy and rather large shadow and glow of the wonderful Les Paul will shine down on us as we play the Iridium once again, and as we keep his incredible history, music and amazing contribution alive! I want you to have similar experiences too, and to really get the most out of your performing and recording life. Remember, you have your own legacy to leave!