Guitartown, USA (a.k.a. Waukesha, WI)

I don’t (currently/yet) play electric, but I recently put 2 and 2 together and realized that the reason there is a Les Paul Parkway and guitar statue by the bank in Waukesha is because he was born there :sweat_smile: And since I’m soon to move back to the West Coast, I figured I should go see those sights while I still live half an hour from Waukesha. It’s a small town, so they are 100% emphasizing the one famous person from there - they have murals and guitar sculptures all around town and an actually really awesome exhibit about him at the county museum, which I visited on a rainy day a couple weeks ago. I followed up by going to see the monument at his resting place this past weekend (forgot to take that detour when it was raining last time).

I thought I’d share some photos here since everyone here is so far-flung (and probably not likely to visit Waukesha).

Some of the murals:

There were a bunch of these guitar statues around town. These were some of my favorites:



Among other artifacts, the museum had “The Log” on display - his original, homemade, railroad tie electric guitar.

Many people paid their respects with guitar picks at his memorial:

And some wise words for all of us, in guitar and in life:

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That’s really cool. Thanks for sharing.

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Very cool pics!!! Thanks for posting!!!
I knew the Les Paul had invented “The Log” but I didn’t know until reading about him recently that he also invented the harmonica holder & the 8 track recorder! He truly was an innovative musician!!!

This is Les Paul playing “Sleepwalk” just a few years before his death… he had crippling arthritis by this point & (although you can’t really see it in this video) had lost the use of some of his fingers… Amazing!!!

https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&hl=en-us&q=les+paul+sleepwalk&tbm=vid&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiBzcusiIiAAxUZKUQIHexWDFkQ0pQJegQICRAB&biw=390&bih=661&dpr=3#fpstate=ive&vld=cid:f3780ba2,vid:tHx_VC2wNkk

Tod

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Thanks for sharing, Hilary, cool pictures!

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Hello Hilary, and - oh, wow, that’s so cool :star_struck:. I love the guitar sculptures. Great decision to visit this place as long as you live that close :smiley:.
Thanks a lot for sharing :hugs:. Now, I’ve learned something new :grinning:.

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That’s terrific Hilary, thank you for posting those up. Looks like you had a very british type weather experience for your visit! :rofl:

The sculptures are great, as are the picks on the memorial.

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Thanks for sharing this, Hilary! That looks amazing and they do honour Les Paul very well. Beautiful, impressive art works - awesome! :star_struck: :+1:

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Very nice :+1:, thanks for sharing!

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Yes, it’s amazing the physical limitations he overcame to still play! He also broke an arm in a car wreck earlier in his life and had that fracture stabilized in such a way that he could still play (even if he couldn’t bend or extend the arm anymore). I have a hard enough time doing simpler things with two functional arms!

His coat-hanger harmonica holder was also on display at the museum, along with some of his other guitars.

@Notter Ha, it was a pretty dreary day, but we really do need the rain! There’s been a bit of a drought in the Midwest this summer. I definitely would have taken more (and better) photos in dry conditions though.

Great pics! I was born and raised in Waukesha, but none of that stuff was there when I was growing up. I wish I’d known it was there, I was recently up there for a visit and would have sought it out.

BTW, I’m not famous. Yet. :wink:

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Wow, what a small world! The museum exhibit was pretty cool - definitely worth the $7 the next time you’re back for a visit! There’s also another Les/sound-themed exhibit at Discovery World in Milwaukee proper, which I haven’t been to.
When you’re famous you can talk to the historical society about adding your own exhibit :wink:

Fantastic murals and sculptures. Funny what you said about “the one famous person” from there. I live in Folsom, CA and we don’t really have anyone famous, but everybody knows we have a prison and that Johnny Cash played there. Soooo… the town has this whole Johnny Cash multi-use trail for pedestrians, cyclists, etc. that runs near the prison.

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Yeah, we had July and August weather in May and June, 90s F and no rain. Now it’s July and it’s raining all the time here in MIchigan and the farmers can’t cut the crappy hay that grew when there was no rain!

Send us some rain! We got a little bit on Saturday in pockets, but not much. This week it’s 80s-90s and dry, some wildfire smoke from Canada as well (hoping that doesn’t get too bad - I don’t have AC, so if the AQI gets so bad that I can’t open the windows at night, it’s going to get unbearably hot inside the house).

Hi there.

Those are amazing pictures you shared. I was born in Milwaukee but haven’t been there in more than 20 years so never saw that exhibit. I moved away to the west at a few days older than 16 and never looked back.

We’re glad to have you on Justin guitar. Justin’s teaching method is amazing and will help you succeed in all of your goals. I recommend to take it slowly, meaning learn timing and the basics before rushing into the specifics of guitar mastery. Learn the fretboard and explore beyond the first 4 frets. I suggest to record yourself and your progress even if you keep it private just to track progress. Check out our community videos and open mics. I upload songs here all the Tom for feed and the community is always supportive.

Best of luck

Jeff
San Diego CA

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Awesome photos! My favorite was the girls rule statue.

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