By now you’ll have heard the very sad news that Les Paul has died, aged 94. There’s little I can add here to the glowing tributes that have already come from some of the biggest names in the business. Except to say this: stop for a moment and try and imagine how the last fifty years would have sounded without the guitar Les Paul designed and the multi-track recording he invented. Rock and Roll and the music it spawned would have been very different.
Here are some tributes:
Joe Satriani: ‘Les Paul set a standard for musicianship and innovation that remains unsurpassed.’
Slash: ‘Les Paul was a shining example of how full one’s life can be. He was so vibrant and full of positive energy. I’m honoured and humbled to have known and played with him over the years.’
Joan Jett: ‘He was a genius inventor, musical innovator and a wonderful person. Without the advances he pioneered, the recording sciences and the electric guitar would have been left years behind. I will miss him so much.’
Billy Gibbons: ‘Les Paul was an innovator, a groundbreaker, a risk taker, a mentor and a friend. Try to imagine what we’d be doing if he hadn’t come along and changed the world. There will always be more Les to come. That’s certified.’