Join Waukesha resident Brien Lee and his blog, Sir Fido, as they explore the city and report on the interesting things they find.
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The theater was packed - even the $500.00 seats appeared to be sold out. The Pabst is absolutely beautiful and, even though it's older than Les, he'd never played there before Saturday. The stage had a relaxed and comfortable feel to it. Several people sat at pub tables and chairs around the perimeter giving the setting a jazz club atmosphere. The tuxedoed gentlemen falling off his stool just added to the realism of the bar scene.
Les played many decent tunes accompanied by three other men, but he could have played tiddlywinks and we would have applauded. The three hour program was kept interesting with new introductions every few songs, and with stories about him and by him. One of the first introductions was quite auspicious because he represented the future to Les' past. An eight year old boy played guitar beautifully with Les and even sang a blues tune. By our tickets, we were all contributing to the new "House of Sound" educational exhibit, and by this young man we knew we were doing the right thing. It didn't take much imagination to think of this boy as young Les as he played beside the 93 year old. Les was eight when he began playing an instrument.
It's harder to imagine what Waukesha was like 93 years ago when Les was born. It had been 80 years since the area was first settled, and 20 years after Waukesha became an incorporated city. He was born around the same time the health resorts were dying in a little house that used to be where the downtown Walgreens is now. He entertained at Waukesha Beach on Pewaukee Lake and his first concert was at Marquette University.
Several other friends performed with Les, mostly those he plays with Monday nights at the Iridium in New York. Besides the eight year old guitarist, a singer, a violinist, harmonica player and tap dancer all performed to much applause. Bob Reitman was the logical choice of MC as both gentlemen are legends.
After meeting Les last year and watching his biography I thought I knew him pretty well. I was pleasantly surprised last night that there is much, much more Les.
Happy birthday Les, and many more!