As word spread of the death of guitar pioneer Les Paul today, many of those he influenced jumped online (and called up Rolling Stone) to share their tributes to the father of the electric six-string. The next issue will have more tributes, but here’s a survey of artists’ immediate reactions to the loss of one of the instruments’ true heroes:
“My friend & mentor Les Paul died today at 94, he was one of the most stellar human beings I’ve ever known, rest in peace Les.” — Slash
“Remembering Les Paul today. Just happened to have his namesake Gibson around my shoulder the last few days. Pictures of Les Paul all over the studio today. Very special day in here. You should wiki his life. Pretty amazing.” — John Mayer
“RIP Les Paul-thankyou for the instruments that changed the course of music. If u have ever “rocked” or “been rocked” u can thank Les Paul.” — Tom Morello
“The World Has Lost a Remarkable Innovator and Musician.” — the Donnas
“The music industry has lost a giant! I’m very saddened by the news of Les Paul’s passing. I was lucky enough to have known Les as a friend, and admired him as a musician and innovator. He forever changed the way we listen to music.” — Ace Frehley
“Les Paul set a standard for musicianship and innovation that remains unsurpassed. He was the original guitar hero, and the kindest of souls. Last October I joined him onstage at The Iridium club in NYC, and he was still shredding. He was and still is an inspiration to us all.” — Joe Satriani
“There are very few human beings in history who touched so many people the way Les Paul did. Not only musicians. But anyone that loved music. He shared his gifts with all of us and brought people together with his brilliance and devotion to music and the art of sound. It was a privilege to have met him. He will be incredibly missed. But our blessing is to know that his spirit and soul will live for eternity in music everywhere.” — The Hold Steady’s Tad Kubler.