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August 13, 2009

Guitar Pioneer Les Paul Passes Away


[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="320" caption="AP Photo"]Guitar Legend Les Paul passed away[/caption]

Guitar inventor, Les Paul, who invented the solid-body electric guitar passed away at 94, a representative from Gibson Guitar Company reports.

As an inventor, Paul also helped make the sound of  rock 'n' roll possible with his innovative 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.

 Many of today's great guitarists attribute Les Paul  as an influence and use his guitars, including Peter Frampton, Led Zepplin's Jimmy Page, Eddie Van Halen, Slash, Green Days' Billy Joe Armstrong,  Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton to name a few.  Guitar  legend Jimi Hendrix and even Beatle George Harrison played a Les Paul.  

 "Les Paul was a shining example of how full one's life can be. He was so vibrant and full of positive energy," said Slash, who has his own signature line of Slash Les Paul Goldtop guitars. "I'm honored and humbled to have known and played with him over the years. He was an exceptionally brilliant man."

"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 natural musician and inventor since childhood, Paul made many early models of what would later be the guitar shape that is so common today. He said of his experiences with earlier models,  "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 and over the years, the Les Paul series has become one of the most widely used guitars in the music industry.

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