Les Paul, 1915-2009

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The AP is reporting that the 94-year-old guitar legend Les Paul has died, from complications related to pneumonia. He spent his last hours surrounded by family and friends at White Plains Hospital. Paul was already a very successful musician when Gibson designed a guitar, according to his specs, that would eventually become arguably the most famous rock n roll instrument of all time. The Les Paul model was introduced in 1952, and since then Paul had been inextricably linked to the guitar. But he never stopped performing--his frequent Monday night stands at Iridium have been a staple of this paper's music listing section since time immemorial--even late in life, when he was forced to rely on just two arthritic fingers. As recently as three years ago Paul was winning Grammys; Les Paul & Friends: American Made World Played pulled down two in 2006. His addition to the long roster of 2009's Summer of Death is not welcome.

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