Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Guitar Ledgend dies

Les Paul, the guitarist and inventor who changed the course of music with the electric guitar and multitrack recording, died on Thursday. He was 94 years old. According to Gibson Guitar, Paul died of complications from pneumonia at White Plains Hospital.

As an inventor, Paul helped bring about the rise of rock 'n' roll and multitrack recording, which enables artists to record different instruments at different times, sing harmony with themselves, and then carefully balance the "tracks" in the finished recording.

A tinkerer and musician since childhood, he experimented with guitar amplification for years before coming up in 1941 with what he called "The Log," a four-by-four piece of wood strung with steel strings. In 1952, Gibson Guitars began production on the Les Paul guitar. Over the years, the Les Paul series has become one of the most widely used guitars in the music industry. Many of the so-called “guitar Gods” play a Les Paul Gibson. To read more about Les Paul and his accomplishments check out this article on He is the only individual to share membership into the Grammy Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the National Inventors Hall of Fame, and the National Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

I had the honor of meeting Les Paul in New York City back in 1999. Meg had run the NYC Marathon on Sunday and we were going out to dinner the next night and noticed that he was playing in the small club in our hotel. We went for an early dinner and came back to catch the last few songs of his set that night. It was truly amazing to watch him work the instrument that he invented. We stuck around and got to speak with Mr. Paul about music and guitars. I don’t remember exactly what I said, but I am sure I was star stuck after what I had just witnessed. It was truly an honor! He was very kind to me and to everyone else who stuck around. He is going to be missed, but his legacy will live on through his guitars and the music they create.

1 comment:

Smyrna Townie said...

You are always hazing my posts :) I do not like Whoopi as a person and figure a designer did her place so....I can like that. They are asking 3.2 mil I think. You an interested buyer?