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Iconic Guitarist Les Paul Passes Away At The Age Of 94
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The man whose name was synonymous with the electric guitar and multiple important evolutions in rock ‘n’ roll music, Les Paul has died at the age of 94. The musician passed away in a hospital in New York due to complications from pneumonia.

Les Paul was born in Wisconsin in 1915 and was always big on music and inventing new things. A fighter from the start, Paul was a high school drop out who worked hard to get to his larger-than-life status. Even after he started making his unequivocal mark in music, he was in a terrible accident which almost claimed his life and left his arm in danger of never working properly the same. Still he fought, instructing the surgeons to set his arm at an angle where he would still be able to hold and pick the guitar.

He was one of the very first to build a solid-body electric guitar that was called “The Log.” This eventually moved on to become the legendary Les Paul guitar that’s been loved and used by greats of the electric guitar like Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, Pete Townsend of The Who, and Eric Clapton.

Paul developed and introduced many innovations that have made multiple genres of music what they are today. In guitar playing in general, he brought things like licks, frets, and chording to the game; with the recording of music tracks, he brought wonderful tricks like overdubbing, as well as delay and phasing effects. All of these have lasted all these years and literally revolutionized music and guitar playing.

Les Paul lived an prodigious life, even winning a Grammy in 2006 at the stunning age of 90 for his collaborative album Les Paul & Friends: American Made World Played. His name is so well known, many younger generation people never even knew there was an actual man behind the guitar that’s so well-known around the world. Even though the man Les Paul is no longer with us, his name will surely live on for all eternity.

Les Paul 1915 — 2009

[Source: CBS News]

5 Comments »

  1. He truly left an amazing legacy in the music world. I’m so glad I got to see him perform live at a club in NYC, it was an enlightening experience and mesmerizing to be in his presence.

    Comment by Empress Eve — August 13, 2009 @ 7:52 pm

  2. if it wasnt for him i couldnt listen to my death metal,.. rust in peace Les

    Comment by DigitalDemolition — August 14, 2009 @ 3:49 am

  3. He didn’t just contribute to modern multi-track recording; he invented it. Thanks to a long partnership with Bing Crosby, he got one of the first Ampex reel to reel tape units ever made. Les Paul was the first one to drill an extra hole and mount a second record head. Later, he asked Ampex to build the first eight track recording deck ever made. Tom Dowd had a second unit made for Atlantic Records in New York. See the truly excellent bio-pic “Les Paul: Chasing Sound” for more about Mr. Paul, his playing, and his inventions.

    Comment by Dr. Geek, Ph.D. — August 14, 2009 @ 11:12 am

  4. Although I would never downplay his many innovations (such as his work with delay), I do think there is too little emphasis put on his technical mastery of the guitar. He sounded like an early sampling of what John McLaughlin would eventually bring to the jazz fusion scene. Great player!

    Comment by Joseph — August 14, 2009 @ 11:28 am

  5. If not for Les Paul, who knows what direction the guitar industry would’ve gone. He contributed to every facet of the business and will always be remembered as “the icon.”

    Comment by Blade — August 25, 2009 @ 1:44 pm

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