Thursday, August 13, 2009

Music legend and innovator Les Paul dies

Now known more for the guitar that bears his name then for his music, musical pioneer Les Paul died of complication from pneumonia yesterday. He was 94.

Les Paul would have great success as a recording artist largely with his wife Mary Ford. But his real impact came in the invention of one of the earliest solid-body guitars, the progeny of which are now the most popular guitars in use around the world. Additionally, he was in innovator in the studio, considered to be the father of multi-track recording. His experiments with multi-tracking and audio effects would completely revolutionize the recording industry.

At a 33, he shattered his right arm in a car accident, and was told he'd never play again. The doctors told him that whatever position they set his arm in would be locked in that position forever. "Set it so I can hold a guitar" he told them. He continued to record and perform well into his 90s.

His contributions to modern music are immeasurable, and his name will live on with guitarists for many generations.