Thursday, December 24, 2009
The “Live Music Capital Of The World” Greets Visitors With Some Very Large Guitars
Soon after visitors step off arriving airplanes at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, they are reminded in a very big way, as though they need any reminding at all, that Austin is indeed the “Live Music Capital of the World.”
While music lovers disembarking off planes will instantly recognize the distinctive shape of the Gibson Les Paul guitar sculptures displayed at the airport, they will be unfamiliar with the size of the guitars. The eight guitars, made from fiberglass, are each 10-foot tall and are decorated by different artists.
Austin businessman, Milton Verret, purchased the “Big Guitars” a couple of years ago at an auction to raise money for local Austin area charities, and then donated them to the city of Austin. Given Austin’s live music tradition, there probably could not be a more appropriate gift to the city.
Les Paul, the musical genius and inventor of a great guitar, died during this past year. Long before he passed, however, he was already a legend. It appears that the size of his guitars, like the music legend himself, will continue to grow with each passing year. And the contributions of Les Paul to the history of music, as now reflected by the “Big Guitars,” could not possibly have a better home than the “Live Music Capital of the World,” Austin, Texas.