It’s a sad day for music fans around the world. Les Paul, the inventor and virtuoso guitarist, died today in White Plains. He was 94. His innovations to the electric guitar and in the recording studio shaped and changed the course of popular music forever. His innovations to the electirc guitar were created out of his desire to have a stringed instrument that could make electronic sound without distorting. Later, Gibson created the guitar that bears his name – the Gibson Les Paul – using Paul’s original pickup deign, and the sales have generated a fortune for Paul, earning him royalties on every guitar sold (and sales have been substantial, seeing as the Les Paul at one point made up 50% of all guitars sold by Gibson). His tinkering talent was unparalleled, and his contributions to the music world and the musicians that he influenced and inspired are too numerous to list here. One of the coolest things that I read about Paul today in one of the many obituaries that have come out, was that in 1948, he was in a very serious car accident with his musical partner and second wife, Mary Ford. The collision left him with many injuries, including a shattered elbow that would be immovable for life; he had it set at a slightly less than 90 degree angle so that he could continue to play guitar. Talk about dedication to your craft. There is no better way to remember the man than to listen to the master himself.
Les Paul – How High The Moon: