32: Ian S. Port

Ian S. Port author “The Birth of Loud”
Ian S. Port’s book “The Birth Of Loud” tells a well researched story of the birth of the electric guitar and it’s impact on popular music and our culture. It’s a refreshing read where Ian looks into corners seldom searched and gives some well deserving figures their time in the light. His literary device of a rivalry between Les Paul and Leo Fender frames the story well but more accurately describes the marketing and cultural forces that both figures were operating in. Leo and Les are throughly depicted as the unique Americans that they were who’s influence still resonates today. It does not matter if you are a musician or someone with an interest in popular music “The Birth of Loud’ will be a delightful read and add to your enjoyment of this music.

This video features The California Playboys, the first California teen age band that played Fender instruments. Leo Fender was certainly a fan of Western Swing.

L to R: George Fullerton, Les Paul, Chet Atkins and Leo Fender

Les Paul at home in Mahway with his original 8 track recorder early 80’s

His house was insane. Equipment was everywhere.

Les was still using a 4X4 block strung with guitar strings to test pickups. Why not?

We gathered a few guitars and shot them on his bed.

Here’s Les performing at that time with the “Paulverizor” mounted on his guitar

Les, ever the tinkerer was his own “roadie” at this show.

Robb Lawrence along with others is thanked by Ian in the acknowledgements. Here Robb is seen showing one of his prototype guitars to Leo Fender at a NAMM Show in the early 80s

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