Today we lost a giant in the world of music and recording. Although we have lost way too many heroes/icons in recent months I am compelled to speak out in honor of Les Paul whom I knew (a little), played with once, and obviously respected and revered.
Les was the Jimi Hendrix of his time and although his heyday was way before my time, as a student of music, I would learn a lot about his monumental contributions as a guitarist and as an innovator of multi-track recording. Like Hendrix he changed the world for every guitarist who came after him whether they knew it or not.
Being a guitarist known mostly for playing "Les Paul" guitars I was approached several years ago by my friends at Gibson Guitars about helping to design and launch a Signature Les Paul guitar. My initial response was "I'm not Les Paul. There's nothing different or special about my guitars that I can take credit for-all the credit goes to him." It took years for me to finally feel that I (along with Brian Farmer, John Cutler, and Peter Miller) had come up with a unique design worthy of taking some credit for.
After hearing of Les' passing I feel even more honored to be considered/asked to help carry on the tradition of the Les Paul guitar. I am even more honored to have known him. He was truly a giant. - Sincerely, Warren Haynes