The question comes up often, maybe too often, in blog and forum memes: what super power would you want to have? When I’m not in the mood to play along with the invisible flying healing walking through walls program, I have said that I want the super power of being able to make music.
For those of you who were born with the gift of music, you might not appreciate that it does seem like a super power to me. Music has the power to inspire us, to reduce stress, and to enhance physical performance in workouts and competition. Even if you don’t believe there is sufficient scientific evidence (and truly, I don’t think there is), there is certainly no shortage of anecdotal evidence that music does indeed have powers.
The reason I am thinking about this should be somewhat obvious. 2009 has been a year of many losses to the entertainment world, and yesterday’s passing of Les Paul, musician and innovator, is a huge loss indeed.
I’m not old enough to have known much of Les Paul’s music, but I’m certainly familiar with the guitar that bears his name. I worked above a music store for a short time during high school, and I got to actually touch and attempt to play some very expensive guitars. Really, who didn’t secretly want to be a rock star (yeah, I know it’s more of a guy thing, but it’s definitely not exclusive to males). And part of that was the Fender Strat… or the Gibson Les Paul.
In reading some of the many tributes and articles for Les Paul, in general and music publications alike, one thing really struck me about his accomplishments. The awards and honors he had received over his long life included awards for music, inventing and broadcasting. How amazing to make a mark and a contribution in three different disciplines like that.
I love music. I have no gift for it. In spite of that, I have a solid body electric guitar that I can’t really play. It’s not a Les Paul or any flavor of Gibson, but that’s ok. Tomorrow no one will be home to hear me play it badly, so play it I will.
RIP Les Paul. Thank you for your creations that gave to so many the super power of music.
(NaBloPoMo | August ’09: 14 of 31 | 75% Challenge: 202 of 274)