Le témoignage de Les Paul :
The phone still rings all night. It’s been like that ever since I can remember. Musicians know that I’m a night person, so when someone’s got a technical question — how do you hold the guitar pick for this, how do you finger that chord? — they call. Back when Jimi Hendrix opened Electric Lady Studios, he was on the phone all the time; we talked about how to mike a guitar amplifier and where he should place the mike in the studio.
I had come across Jimi sometime before at a roadhouse spot in New Jersey called the Allegro. I know the year was 1965 for two reasons: the Gibson Guitar Corporation and I were in the middle of what I call our divorce, and second, Simon and Garfunkel had a hit on the radio, ”The Sounds of Silence.” I came up playing with the best of the best jazz and pop musicians in the 30’s and 40’s, and I believe if you want to stay at the top of anything, you’ve got to remain curious. That’s why I dropped by places like the Allegro. Right now I’m trying my damnedest to keep up with the latest computerized recording equipment.
The afternoon I first saw Jimi, he was playing a Les Paul Black Beauty, left-handed. Man, was he all over that thing! Black was the second color I asked Gibson to make when they went into production on the first Les Paul model solid-body electric guitars in 1952. I’ve found that people hear as much with their eyes as with their ears, and visually, a black guitar really accentuates the movements of a guitarist’s fingers. Jimi was auditioning that day. My son had been helping me distribute some of my records, so he was waiting in the car. But when I walked in and heard this guy wailing — he had that guitar wide open — I decided to stick around for a while. It was the afternoon; the place was pretty empty, so the bartender was watering down the drinks. I never got Jimi’s name. I asked — the bartender didn’t know. Then I realized my son’s still in the car! I go out there and tell him that we’re going to swing back after we finish dropping off records. When we got back to the Allegro, Jimi was gone. I said to the bartender, ”Where is that guy?... Did he get the gig?”
”Are you kidding?” the bartender said. ”He was too loud. We threw him out.” Luckily the guy had snapped a picture, probably because I was interested. I have the photo on the wall. It took me years to come across him again.