Not only was he involved with the invention of the solid-body electric guitar, Les Paul was a visionary that pioneered multi-tracking, tape delay, and paved the way for rock stars to be rock stars.
As well as being an inventor, Paul was a wonderfully creative guitar player. Using influences from Gypsy-jazz-style-playing that was popular in Europe, his style was of a mixture of fast jazz-rock, and Paul even altered the speed of tape playback when recording to create what in essence, was early surf rock.
He was one of the first guitarists to use effects. He also used tape to create a symphony of guitars. Paul wowed musicians and television audiences alike when he performed with his wife, Mary Ford in the 1950s. His use of layers, chord inversions and walking bass lines brought a whole new dimension to guitar playing.
Without doubt, Les Paul changed the look and sound of rock music and without his vision rock gods of today would have sounded completely different.
Thank you Les Paul.
Photos: Getty. The Les Paul Foundation.