40 Years Together
Lou Pallo, long-time member of the Les Paul Trio, was Les’ straight man for Les’ stage antics. It was obvious to all that the two admired each other and were good friends. No one worked longer with Les than Lou, beginning with Les sitting in at Lou’s weekly gigs, followed by Les forming a trio to play every Monday at Fat Tuesday’s, then the Iridium Jazz Club. The two performed together consistently for almost 40 years.
Thank You Les
“Thank you Les,” is Lou’s star-studded tribute to Les Paul. The CD recording, DVD documentary and vinyl record are scheduled to be released this Summer.
The all-new recording features Les’ friends playing his songs with Lou. Artists include Johnny A., Eddie Brigati Jr., Blondie Chaplin, Melinda Doolittle, Tommy Doyle, Nokie Edwards, Jose Feliciano, Billy F. Gibbons, Bob Leive, Jay Leonhart, Steve Miller, Jon Paris, Nicki Parrott, Bucky Pizzarelli, Arlen Roth, Lexie Roth, Keith Richards, Slash and Frank Vignola.
Lou was instrumental in pairing Les’ songs with each artist. Among the recordings are “Vaya con Dios” by Lexie Roth, “September Song” by Billy Gibbons and “Memories of You” by Tommy Doyle.
“No question,” Lou responded when asked what his favorite piece was, “‘Over the Rainbow’ sung by American Idol finalist Melinda Doolittle. It was beautiful. It was Les’ favorite song and one of mine as well.”
Another of Lou’s favorites is “Tennessee Waltz” performed by Les Paul Trio member Nicki Parrott. “There are so many favorites,” Lou laughed.
When asked what he liked best about the project, Lou mused, “All the beautiful comments about Les, how he wasn’t just a guitar player. He was an entertainer, arranger, engineer and so much more.”
Getting to Know Les
The documentary captures the performers talking about how they met Les and how he influenced them. Steve Miller talks about when he was a child and how Les said he would become a star. Les’ son Russ talks about his Dad. There also are clips of Les in the documentary. Lou spoke with earned pride about the documentary, “People will really get to know Les when they see the documentary.”
On Meeting Les
When asked about a favorite memory about Les, Lou quickly responded, “That would have to be when I first met Les. I didn’t know it was Les. He just showed up where I was performing. Afterwards he said, ’I’m Les Paul.’
“I idolized him,” Lou reflected.
“Les said, ‘I like how you play. Here’s my phone number. Let’s get together. Come over to my house.’
“Just meeting him I was in heaven.” Lou shared, “To have idolized him when I was young and then to have played with him all these years. Working with him was an honor.
“Les said one should learn something every day. He added things to his repertoire all the time. He picked up new ideas and used them.
“Les always played the straight melody. He wanted only legitimate changes to songs. He didn’t improvise. Les loved to play the correct way. He played clean and that’s what I learned from him.”
For More Information
Photos and further information on the album are available on The Thank You Les facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/thankyoules .