Les Paul, legendary guitar player, inventor, producer and all around great guy, died earlier this morning due to complications from pneumonia. According to Gibson Guitar, he died at White Plains Hospital in New York by the side of his friends and family. He was 94 at the time of his death.
Considered by many to be the father of modern music, Les Paul was responsible for many of the inventions that made the sound of rock and roll, as well as several other modern genres, possible. His musical innovations include the invention of the electric guitar as well as several studio tricks including: overdubbing, delay effects, tape delay, phasing effects and multitrack recording. The last of which made modern studio recording possible.
However it will always be the electric guitar that Les Paul will be most remembered for. First invented in the 1940s, Paul was eventually able to convince Gibson Guitars to create the Les Paul in 1952. It was not longer after, though, that such guitar greats as Pete Townsend (the Who), Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), Steve Howe (Yes) and many others picked up the Les Paul turning it into a genuine rock and roll icon.
Not just an inventor though, Les Paul was also well known for his exemplary axeman skills. Specifically his unique and innovative guitar playing style, one that included lots of licks, trills and fretting techniques, and one that has found many imitators as well.
While it may seem strange to say, without Les Paul there would have not have been the Beatles, the Stones or any other modern rock and roll act since. Truly a one-of-a-kind, who will long be missed.
Check out the legend at work below: