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Les Paul auction in Beverly Hills to feature hundreds of items

May 29, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Les Paul probably deserves as much credit as anyone for the birth of rock 'n' roll, not for the music he made, but for the guitars he invented.

Paul was a skilled guitarist who specialized in jazz and country, but he also helped design the world's first solid-body electric guitar, a legacy that is intertwined with the history of rock 'n' roll.

For fans looking to own a part of history, an upcoming auction in Beverly Hills from the Paul estate will feature extraordinary property and a collection of more than 300 guitars, dozens of amplifiers, microphones and recording equipment from the legendary musician.

Drew Berlin, a vintage guitar expert, is one of the people who helped curate the auction at Julien's Auctions Gallery, 9665 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 150, Beverly Hills. All of it came from Paul's home in New Jersey.

Paul is perhaps best known for the guitar that bears his name, but he also had an en enormous impact on the world of recording.

"He added a record head to a mono tape recorder and created sound-on-sound recording, so he could record one track then record another track on top of it, and you can hear both tracks at the same time," Berlin said. "This was absolutely revolutionary."

Paul's six-string creation has been the guitar of choice for many rock stars, including Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page and Guns N' Roses' Slash. It's that kind of pedigree that has collectors flocking to Beverly Hills.

"It's something I would probably play with pleasure every day," said Jimmy Steinfeldt, who plans on bidding on several guitars.

Paul died in 2009, but his contribution to music continues today.

The public exhibition of his estate continues all week. The live and online auction is scheduled for June 8 and 9.