Over the years, I have often blamed myself for certain famous people passing away - the latest was John Hughes dying a day after I watched 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off ' last week. However, I was incorrect on one of them. I mistakenly thought that Les Paul had passed away shortly after I purchased my first guitar named after him - which I just sold about a month or so ago.
I was wrong then - he was still around, but like all people, if you wait around long enough, everyone dies. Unfortunately, Les Paul passed away today at the ripe old age of 94. For those of you who are musically challenged, the Les Paul guitar is the quintessential rock and roll axe. In fact, Les Paul invented the first solid body electric guitar. He also developed another revolutionary recording technique - multitracking. That is, being able to record multiple tracks by the same musician at different times, and linking them together. Before that, you had to put a slew of different guys in a room at the same time, and record them together. What a mess....
Paul was instrumental (sorry, bad pun) in the technological aspects, but he was an excellent guitarist as well, with dozens of Top ten singles in the 50's and 60's. In rock, there are two guitars most people identify with it - the Fender Stratocaster, and the Gibson Les Paul. If you wanted the fat, tony sound, you got a Les Paul. Now, Les Paul and Leo Fender are both in Rock n Roll Heaven, discussing the finer points of guitarmaking. I'm headed to band practice tonight, and thanks to Les Paul, I WILL ROCK !!!