Friday, 14 August 2009

Les Paul Death



- The father of the the electric guitar

- The inventor of the electric body guitar

- Inductee of the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

- Inductee of the Grammy Hall Of Fame

Les Paul passed away on the evening of August 12th 2009 at a hospital in White Plains, New York. His manager confirmed that he died from respiratory failure and was also suffering from severe pneumonia.

As well as being one of the most revered guitarists in musical history, Paul also had a much celebrated music career as a solo artist and with his wife, singer Mary Ford. Paul is also credited with many pioneering recording techniques such as electronic echo and multi-tracking.

In 2003, Rolling Stone named Paul at number 46 in their list of 100 greatest guitarists of all time. The legendary Jimi Hendrix topped the list.

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“He was one of the most stellar human beings I’ve ever known,” Slash posted on his Twitter today, referring to Paul as his “friend and mentor.” Chickenfoot guitarist Joe Satriani released a statement that reads, “Les Paul set a standard for musicianship and innovation that remains unsurpassed. He was the original guitar hero, and the kindest of souls.”

In the early ’50s, Paul and Ford had a string of hits including Mockin’ Bird Hill,” “How High the Moon,” “The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise” and “Vaya Con Dios.” Paul also began experimenting with the electric guitar, building the Les Paul Recording Guitar, an instrument that allowed for “hot” pickups and “fatter” tone than the Fender on the market. Paul linked up with Gibson Guitars and his six-string became one of the guitar maker’s signatures.

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Around this time, Paul also made the first-ever eight-track recording, as well as the dual-pickup guitar, the 14-fret guitar, and various types of electronic transducers used both in guitars and recording studios. For his achievements as a technician, Paul was also inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2005, joining Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla.

Paul was born in Waukesha, Wisconsin in 1915, a fact noted in the name of the 1980 Les Paul documentary The Wizard of Waukesha. Last November, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame honored Paul with its annual American Music Masters Concert, where Slash, ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, Richie Sambora and the Patti Smith Group’s Lenny Kaye paid tribute to Paul. Kaye told the audience, “Before Les, guitars were only amplified. Les made them truly electric.” During his acceptance speech, Paul joked, “Everybody thought I was a guitar until I played here tonight.” One thing is for certain: Les Paul is responsible for changing the way rock & roll sounds and he will be greatly missed.

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