Guitarist, innovator and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Les Paul died today from complications from pneumonia, the AP reports. He was 94 years old.
Paul leaves behind an extraordinary legacy, which includes not only his recording innovations and techniques, inventions (including the eight-track), music catalog – and of course his eponymous solid body electric guitar. He was an influence not only on casual musicians, but also on those commonly regarded as rock gods in their own right: Eric Clapton, Duane Allman, and many others. In fact, as Paul’s Hall of Fame bio notes, Jimmy Page said that “He’s the man who started everything. He’s just a genius.” Eddie Van Halen shared the sentiment: “Without the things you’ve done, I wouldn’t be able to do half the things I do.”
The name Les Paul may as well be synonymous with rock music, and he will be missed.