The Passing of a Legend
There must be something significant about great guitarists rarely making it past the age of 94. Witness the death of Andres Segovia, still active into his 90s. Now the passing of Les Paul at the same age.
I had the great good fortune to meet Les Paul in New York some years back and at last had
a chance to compliment him on his vision not only as a superb electric guitarist but also as
the inventor of multi track recording. Without him the equation would've read thus:
1) No Les Paul
2) No Sergeant Pepper
3) No Genesis albums, Hackett and everyone else in the business who walked through the doors of a recording studio for the first time into the rest of their lives...
I suspect it must have been galling for Les to become more well known as the namesake guitar he invented than perennial performer himself, still giving the young blades a run for their money.
As a kid I dreamed of owning a 'Les Paul'. To my mind anyone who owned one had already 'made it'. In other words, if you owned one, success was already in your hands. The Magic Axe would squeal in delight just to have you run your fingers over its contours. A tiny masterpiece belying its incredible actual weight. Most guitarists give up playing them because of that weight... they can't afford the physiotherapy bills! But, hey Les, whatever injuries I've sustained, it was all worth it.
Love from just about every guitarist on the planet... we all lived your dream.