Saturday, August 15, 2009

RIP Les Paul

I don't even know where to begin with this one, and judging from the writing I've seen over the past two days, it doesn't look as if anyone else knows where to begin either. Les Paul basically invented the electric guitar and multitrack recording, so virtually all music that was recorded over the past fifty years bears his fingerprints. Now go, write 500 words summarizing exactly that. Jeez. It's like eulogizing Gutenberg or something.

Les Paul also had the temerity to live so darned long. He outlived so many other rock and roll pioneers -- so many of whom were given the full-on legend treatment after their deaths -- that it's become more difficult to properly contextualize the passing of other music greats without resorting to greater and greater (and more colourful) hyperbole. Then Les Paul goes ahead and dies and the load has long since been shot. There simply aren't enough never-before-heard praises that are left to be sung.

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