Sadly, Les didn’t quite make it to 2014 in order to celebrate the milestone. But the electric guitar maestro and inventor did make it all the way to the ripe old age of 94 before heading to that big bandstand in the sky in 2009. And he continued to hold down a regular Monday-night gig at New York’s iridium club well into his nineties.
A master of jazz, pop, country, and rock idioms, Paul also was a consummate inventor. His name is synonymous with one of the great electric guitar designs. He also led the way with multitrack recording techniques unheard of when he used them on 1940s recordings.
Stories about Les Paul’s devotion to his guitars and his music are legendary. As a young man he broke an arm then insisted, against his doctor’s advice, that it be set it in a bent position so he could keep up his guitar work. He developed his iconic guitar designs working late into the night at the darkened Epiphone guitar factory in New York. Upon Paul’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988 by Jeff Beck, the British guitarist ruefully noted,"I've copied more licks from Les Paul than I'd like to admit."
For lots more about this guitar legend and the instrument most closely associated with him, check out our Les Paul Buying Guide.
You can explore the huge selection of Les Paul guitars at Musician’s Friend.