Waukesha Guitar Town Project Celebration

Celebration to Honor 97th Birthday of Les Paul

This coming Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the 31st of May, 2012 through the 2nd of June, 2012 is a long awaited project for many people in Waukesha, and perhaps even people throughout the nation and world.

Dubbed “Les Paul’s Birthday Party” because his birthday is the 9th of June, 1915, the Waukesha Guitar Town Project is ready to launch.  The stage is set, the guitars have been designed and finished with clear coat, and many musicians and fans of Les Paul are anxious to see the beautiful pieces of art and celebrate the memory and legend of Les Paul in his home town of Waukesha.
In case you have not seen it yet, the schedule of events planned for this three day celebration is included below.  Also,

I was actually kind of sad to read a recent post by Brien Lee in which he states that he has encountered lots of people around Waukesha who know little or nothing about the Guitar Town Project, or Les Paul’s birthday party.  Sad, actually, that something this monumental can go unheard of by any Waukesha citizen.  And I would agree with Brien that despite the current proposed guitar locations, at least one of the guitars should be strategically placed near one of the bypasses to catch the eye of passersby.  See the current map of the Waukesha Guitar Town Guitar Locations.

Les Paul’s Birthday Party Schedule:

Thursday, 31 May, 2012

Where:
Rotunda
235 W. Broadway
Waukesha, WI 53186
When:
5:30 – 9:00 p.m.

Waukesha Gibson Guitar Town will be holding a private gala to unveil the guitars to the Gibson Corporation, sponsors of the guitars,  and community supporters.  This event is private.

 

Friday, 01 June, 2012

1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Club 400 owner Dan Pokwinski to share and discuss Club 400’s Les Paul memorabilia.

1:00 – 2:30 p.m.
Rusty Paul, son of Les Paul will be at Les Paul memorial site at Prairie Home Cemetery to share memories and answer questions about his father.

11:30 – 1:00 p.m.
Lunch & Learn with Bob Jacobson, author of the book Les Paul Guitar Wizard to be at the Waukesha County Museum. $8 admission includes lunch, opportunity for book signing and discussion on book (book cost additional). Pre-registration required by May 31st. To register, call 262-521-2859 ext. 224. Limited seating available.

5:30 p.m.
Opening ceremony for Waukesha Gibson GuitarTown – unveiling of 10 ft guitars and 17 playable guitars will be on display at their final locations in downtown Waukesha.

6:00 p.m.
Les Paul Trio to play on the big main stage set up in downtown Waukesha

6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Bob Jacobson, author of Les Paul Guitar Wizard, to sign books at Martha Merrell’s Books/Cuddles

6:45 p.m.
Freeman Friday Night Live launches it summer event in Waukesha, featuring six stages of live music.
Listen to some great live music at stages in the following locations:

  • Martha Merrell’s Books/Cuddles ▪ Mike & Kathy G-Man Music
  • Allo Chocolat ▪ Chad James & Mike Westendorf
  • Rockin’ & Poppin’ On Broadway Stage ▪ The Notebenders
  • Mia’s ▪ Peter D’Amore
  • Steaming Cup ▪ Barefoot “N” Bluejeans
  • Magellans ▪ Lonley Hearts

8:30 p.m.
Sam Llanas Band to play with former Buffalo Springfield music legend and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Richie Furay and Rusty Paul on main stage in downtown Waukesha.

 

Saturday, 02 June, 2012

8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Waukesha Farmer’s Market will feature a Les Paul trivia and song tribute and limited edition collectors’ cards.

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Bob Jacobson, author of Les Paul Guitar Wizard to be at the Waukesha County Museum booth at the Waukesha Farmer’s Market signing and discuss his book.

1:00 – 2:30 p.m.
Rusty Paul son of Les Paul will be at Les Paul Monument at Prairie Home Cemetery to share memories and answer questions about his father.

1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Guided tour with artists.

1:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Live music in downtown Waukesha.

Happy Birthday Les

Les Paul's 97th Birthday Party Celebration in Waukesha

Russ Les Paul, Jr., to Play at Guitar Town Waukesha Dedication Party

For many years downtown Waukesha has been host to dozens of outdoor musical shows during the summer as part of the Waukesha Freeman Friday Night Live.  Some of the downtown streets are blocked-off and musicians take the stage at various locations around Waukesha, cultivating their passion and soothing the ears of residents who adore the performances of many local bands and musicians.

Earlier this year Mayor Jeff Scrima contacted the Gibson Guitar Corporation and made a request that the city be recognized as “Guitar Town Waukesha,” in light of the fact that it is the hometown and resting place of the late great guitar legend, Les Paul.  Gibson agreed, and over the past couple of months the Waukesha Guitar Town Steering Committee has taken steps to quickly move things along.  Large and small guitars have been delivered to the city of Waukesha and are currently being decorated by artists. With proposed guitar town locations tentatively established, Gibson has agreed to throw a dedication party for the June 01, 2012 launch of the Waukesha Guitar Town project.

In an article by Sarah Pryor of the Waukesha Freeman, this past week Guitar Town Steering Committee member, Alderman Any Reiland, made an announcement at Thursday’s Common Council meeting that the Rusty Paul Band, the Les Paul Trio, and Sammy Llanas will headline the Waukesha Guitar Town Dedication party.
The musicians will perform during a private evening reception on May 31 at the Rotunda in historic downtown Waukesha where several of the playable Les Paul guitars will be auctioned off in person and online. A public event will be held during Freeman Friday Night Live the evening of June 1 in historic downtown Waukesha.

About the Musicians

Russ Les Paul, Jr.

 

The Rusty Paul Band features Les Paul’s son Rusty and perform blues, funk and rock music at a variety of locations and venues.

 

 

 

 

Les Paul Trio

 

The Les Paul Trio performs every Monday night at the Iridum, a popular jazz and rock club in New York. The Trio’s music pays homage to the music of Les Paul and often features guests like Ted Nugent, Jeff Beck, Zakk Wylde and Steve Miller.

 

 

 

Sammy Llanas

 

Sammy Llanas, a Waukesha native and former member of the BoDeans, is known for his distinctive music and is now a solo musician.

Guitar Town Waukesha Coming Soon

In January, 2012 Waukesha Mayor Jeff Scrima announced that the city of Waukesha will be the eighth city named as a “Guitar Town” by the Gibson Guitartown Project.  Waukesha was selected to become part of the foundation’s project after Scrima approached Gibson Guitar Corporation’s chairman and chief executive, Henry Juszkiewicz.  So how did this all start?

For some time local Waukesha West-End Artists Jeff Seymour and Lynn Gaffey were looking for a guitar-focused project for Waukesha’s downtown to honor one of most famous visionaries of the city, Les Paul.  Seymour was searching the internet about one year ago and discovered the Gibson GuitarTown project.  After discussing the potential of such a project being hosted in Waukesha, Seymour and Gaffey presented it to the Mayor and the rest is now history.

Over the course of the past seven weeks the project has swiftly moved ahead with the delivery of ten 10’ foot fiberglass guitars on January 31st, delivery of 15 playable guitars on February 9th, and the proposal and final approval on February 15th of 13 locations for the giant 10’ guitars around the city of Waukesha.  Although there are only ten giant guitars, the following 13 locations were approved by the Waukesha Steering Committee:

 

  • The Waukesha County Museum
  • Lare’s Fashions
  • Sloppy Joe’s Soda Fountain
  • The Clarke Hotel
  • Waukesha State Bank
  • Taylors People’s Park
  • Otto’s Fine Art Academy
  • Restyle Studio
  • Main Street Residence
  • Waukesha Tattoo Company @ Galleria Edge
  • Rotunda
  • The Waukesha Freeman Building
  • Club 400

 

UPDATE: April 10, 2012

In an article by Sarah Pryor of the Waukesha Freeman, this past week Guitar Town Steering Committee member, Alderman Any Reiland, made an announcement at Thursday’s Common Council meeting that the Rusty Paul Band, the Les Paul Trio, and Sammy Llanas will headline the Waukesha Guitar Town Dedication party.

The musicians will perform during a private evening reception on May 31 at the Rotunda in historic downtown Waukesha where several of the playable Les Paul guitars will be auctioned off in person and online. A public event will be held during Freeman Friday Night Live the evening of June 1 in historic downtown Waukesha.