Les Paul, who pioneered the design of the solid-body electric guitar and multitrack recording, died on Thursday at a New York hospital of complications from pneumonia. He was 94. Following are comments from guitarists and music industry figures on his passing:
“My friend and mentor Les Paul died today at 94. He was one of the most stellar human beings I’ve ever known.” — former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash.
“Les Paul was truly a ‘one of a kind.’ We owe many of his inventions that made the rock ‘n roll sound of today to him, and he was the founding father of modern music.” — blues guitarist B.B. King.
“As the ‘Father of the Electric Guitar’, he was not only one of the world’s greatest innovators but a legend who created, inspired and contributed to the success of musicians around the world.” — Dave Berryman, president of Gibson Guitar.
“Three-time GRAMMY winner Les Paul was a musical mastermind whose innovations in electric guitar and recorded music are unparalleled … His magnetic charm and sunny disposition matched his incredible skill set and he will always be remembered with great fondness, humility, and respect.” — Neil Portnow, president of The Recording Academy.
“Les Paul set a standard for musicianship and innovation that remains unsurpassed. He was the original guitar hero, and the kindest of souls.” — guitarist Joe Satriani.