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Guitar legend-inventor Les Paul dies at age 94

Vegan Joe

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WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – Les Paul, who invented the solid-body electric guitar later wielded by a legion of rock 'n' roll greats, died Thursday of complications from pneumonia. He was 94.


According to Gibson Guitar, Paul died at White Plains Hospital. His family and friends were by his side.


As an inventor, Paul also helped bring about the rise of rock 'n' roll with 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.


The use of electric guitar gained popularity in the mid-to-late 1940s, and then exploded with the advent of rock in the mid-'50s.


"Suddenly, it was recognized that power was a very important part of music," Paul once said. "To have the dynamics, to have the way of expressing yourself beyond the normal limits of an unamplified instrument, was incredible. Today a guy wouldn't think of singing a song on a stage without a microphone and a sound system."


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.


"I went into a nightclub and played it. Of course, everybody had me labeled as a nut." He later put the wooden wings onto the body to give it a tradition guitar shape.


In 1952, Gibson Guitars began production on the Les Paul guitar.


Pete Townsend of the Who, Steve Howe of Yes, jazz great Al DiMeola and Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page all made the Gibson Les Paul their trademark six-string.


Over the years, the Les Paul series has become one of the most widely used guitars in the music industry. In 2005, Christie's auction house sold a 1955 Gibson Les Paul for $45,600.


In the late 1960s, Paul retired from music to concentrate on

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Wow! there sure have been a lot of deaths this year

94 is a pretty nice age to live to but it still is a sad thing


My 13 yr old son talks about Les Paul guitars all the time. Amazing what an impact he has made

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Paul McCartney, right, tries out a custom-made left handed

'Les Paul Lite' guitar presented to him by the designer, Les Paul, left.


"As a guitarist, composer, electronic innovator and inventor, he was beyond genius and there was none other like him. He was a true musical gift from God." - Randy Bachman, The Guess Who and Bachman Turner Overdrive


"He was revolutionary in the music business." - Richie Sambora, Bon Jovi


"He changed the face of rock-and-roll." - Ace Frehley, KISS


"All of us owe an unimaginable debt to his work and his talent." - Keith Richards, Rolling Stones


"The name Les Paul is iconic and is known by aspiring and virtuoso guitar players worldwide. That guitar is the cornerstone of a lot of great music that has been made in the last 50 years." - Paul Stanley, KISS


"He was the original guitar hero." - Joe Satriani


"His inventions that made the rock 'n roll sound of today to him, and he was the founding father of modern music" - BB King


""Without Les Paul, we would not have rock and roll as we know it. He was truly an architect of rock and roll." - Terry Stewart, president of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum


Honored as an Inductee in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Grammy Hall of Fame, the Inventors Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.


tonight, my guitar gently weeps. Farewell Les Paul, RIP and Vaya Con Dios!



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