Waukesha is called (unofficially) Guitar Town. Now…we do have several music-themed shops in the downtown area (teaching, repairing, selling instruments, and a brisk trade in old vinyl). We also have Friday Night Live every week from Memorial day to Labor day in the downtown area, live concerts on Tuesday nights by the library, and bars offering bands the opportunity to play live throughout the year – this would suggest music town more than guitar town.
So why are we Guitar Town?
Waukesha is the birthplace of Les Paul. The guy who, according to his Wiki page, was one of the ‘architects of the modern solid-body electric guitar.’
We, the denizens of this little town, celebrate Les Paul in a lot of ways. We’ve the Les Paul highway, the Les Paul school.
We’ve got murals painted all over town celebrating his life:
We’ve also got guitar sculptures scattered all across the town…
And, yes…we’ve got his final resting place.
I wandered through the cemetery on the walk home tonight – after all, it’s right across the street from work…and found where he’s laid down. I’m not the only one to do so…several musicians had been there before me, leaving tribute in the only way guitar players can:
Those are guitar picks on his grave.