Les Paul, father of the solid-body electric guitar, dead at 94

Strum out a few chords of Stairway, friends, because the guy who pioneered the solid-body electric guitar, Les Paul, is dead. He died of complications from pneumonia in White Plains, NY.

Paul also invented multitrack recording, the process of playing and recording multiple tracks at once. This led to incredible – and decidedly mechanical – effects like echo and pitch shifting.

Paul built his first electric, the Log, in 1941. He added wings to it later to make it look less like a piece of wood and more like a guitar. In 1952 Gibson began selling the Les Paul guitar and the rest is history.

I saw Paul a few years ago in an amazing tribute concert. He was still going strong, even into his late 80s. He defined the music we listen to today and was the consummate tinkerer, a man whose example to which we all should aspire.

via ChiTrib