Goodbye to the Wizard of Waukesha

It’s a little too easy to throw around the term “legendary”.  Too many times, it’s actually hyperbole beyond the actual scope of the event or person in question.  But not this time.  Today’s passing of the legendary Les Paul deserves its moment of reflection.

Les Paul (June 9, 1915 – August 13, 2009)

Les Paul (June 9, 1915 – August 13, 2009)

Paul, a member of both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the National Inventors Hall of Fame, for his invention of (and recordings with) the solid body guitar along with his development of overdubbing and multitracking, had an active career that spanned from the age of 9 all the way into his 90’s. 

He leaves behind an absolutely amazing body of work and legacy, which includes the guitar that bears his name – the Gibson Les Paul.  Gibson’s website, in fact, offers the ultimate obituary to the man they rightfully call “one of the foremost influences on 20th century sound and responsible for the world’s most famous guitar”.

Another great overview of Paul’s career can be had by viewing the American Masters documentary, Les Paul: Chasing Sound!, which was released just two years ago.  The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel documented the hoopla in May of 2007 when Paul returned to his suburban Milwaukee birthplace of Waukesha for the screening of the movie along with what would turn out to be his final hometown concert.

There will no doubt be countless tributes in the days ahead.  All befitting the passing of a legend.

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~ by acm213 on August 13, 2009.

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