August 13th, 2009
Les Paul, probably the most influential guitarist and inventor rivaled only by Leo Fender himself, died Thursday in White Plains. He was 94.
The cause was complications of pneumonia, Gibson Guitar announced. Les Paul is truly an iconic figure in the guitar and music world. In the 1930s he began experimenting with guitar amplification, and by 1941 he had built what was probably the first solid-body electric guitar, although there are other claimants. With his electric guitar and the vocals of his wife, Mary Ford, he used overdubbing, multitrack recording and new electronic effects to create a string of hits in the 1950s. The man was truly ahead of his time and paved the way for modern music.
Any musician who has played a Les Paul Gibson knows its probably one of the heaviest guitars built not only in tone, but actual weight itself… Its like packing a brick around on your shoulder, but the tone is what has helped craft some of the heaviest rock sounds ever produced…
R.I.P. Les… your legend may not have been as publicized as MJ’s, but your influence in the music world easily surpassed him… Long live Les Paul.