Good news, Woody Paige: Les Paul isn't dead yet

It's always dangerous when sportswriters include music references in their columns. Such citations are typically moldy -- as, for instance, Rocky Mountain News staffer Bernie Lincicome's dopey mention of Loggins and Messina, who hailed from an era "when music was fun," he claimed in a December 7 piece. And all too often, they're misleading or wrong, too.

Take Woody Paige's "Nuggets in Position to Stretch Win," from Sunday's Denver Post, which appeared following a Nugs victory over the New Orleans Hornets. Paige declared that brilliant Hornets guard Chris Paul "plays basketball like Les Paul played electric guitar."

A nice sentiment, but one that implies Les Paul is dead, which he most certainly is not. Although he's mighty old -- 93, to be precise -- the ax pioneer remains very active. In November, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland featured a week-long Paul tribute capped by a performance at which the grand master was saluted by acolytes such as Guns N' Roses alum Slash and ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons. Moreover, he still takes center stage during a regular Monday gig at New York City's Iridium Jazz Club, and a friend who attended one such session not so long ago was thoroughly charmed by the performance.

If Chris Paul runs the fast break at 93 as well as Paul continues to play, he'll be a very lucky man. -- Michael Roberts

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