Thursday, August 13, 2009

Guitar legend-inventor Les Paul dies at age 94

Slightly off topic (as if we had one) but as a guitar player I've always admired this innovative musician.

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.

More here-

1 comment:

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