While The Iridium stage has played a part in launching the careers of countless artists, it may be best known as The Home of Les Paul, who performed there weekly for more than 12 years until his passing in 2009. “We all think that playing at the Iridium was Les’ life-stretching experience,” says Jeff Beck, whose new DVD was filmed at The Iridium last June on what would have been Paul’s 95th birthday. The club is so important to Beck that he named his current Iridium Tour in its honor.
Since Paul’s death, The Les Paul Trio–guitarist Lou Pallo, bassist Nicki Parrott, and pianist John Colianni–has continued his legacy, performing every Monday night with special guests that have included guitar gods like Jeff Beck, Steve Miller, and Zakk Wylde among others. This spring boasts a particularly strong lineup, including legendary rocker Ted Nugent (5/16), Jane Weidlin of The Go-Go’s (5/2), Richie Kotzen of Poison and Mr. Big (4/11), Junior Brown (4/18), and more.
Les’ son Russ will lead Russ Paul’s Guitar Monsters in a very special tribute to his father on 4/25. A celebrated bassist in his own right, Russ will be joined at The Iridium by Jimmy Vivino (leader of the Basic Cable Band on Conan), Arlen Roth (Master of the Telecaster), Gene Cornish (The Rascals), and Johnny A. Opening for the Trio that night will be TW Doyle, longtime engineer and guitarist for Les Paul.
It would be difficult to overstate Les Paul’s impact on the shape of popular music. As both an artist and inventor, he was a true pioneer whose trailblazing innovation with the electric guitar and multi-track recording forever altered the music industry. Every Monday night, The Iridium celebrates his profound impact on guitarists everywhere by inviting “Best of Breed” players from all genres to join the Les Paul Trio. The club donates 20% of the door to The Les Paul Foundation, which seeks to honor his legacy by supporting music education, engineering and innovation.
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