Further to our initial report on the passing of LES PAUL, who at the age of 94 died due to complications from pneumonia, the following acclamied guitarists have issued the following statements:
Eddie Van Halen (VAN HALEN): “Les Paul was a pioneer, an innovator and a dear friend. I am deeply saddened at the news of his passing. It was truly an honour to have known him and sit around with him talking guitars. I am especially glad that he, my son Wolfgang and I had a chance to spend some quality time together in the past few years. I will miss him dearly.”
Joe Satriani (CHICKENFOOT): “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 and he was still shredding. He was and still is an inspiration to us all.”
John 5 (ROB ZOMBIE): “Les Paul gave me one of the best days of my life when I got to play with him at his club in New York City. He was the one that told me to go solo and make guitar records. This is a great loss. My thoughts go out to his family and to everybody who was touched and influenced by him.”
Billy Gibbons (ZZ TOP): “Les Paul brought the six string to electricity and electricity to the six-string. He was an innovator, a groundbreaker, a risk taker, a mentor and a friend. Try to imagine what we’d be doing if he hadn’t come along and changed the world as he most, indisputably, did. There will always be more Les to come. That’s certified.”
Joe Perry (AEROSMITH): “As a guitarist and a fan of music in general, I know the amazing contributions Les Paul made in his lifetime to the art of making music. He was a true genius. The few times that I had met him, he made me feel like I had known him forever. He was always sharp, ready to rock and he was always talking about his next gig. Knowing that he is not walking the earth anymore is sad and I have lost a friend. But every time I pick up a guitar, I’ll know that his spirit is alive and well right next to me.”
Born Lester William Polfuss in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on June 9, 1915, Les Paul is enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Grammy Hall of Fame, the Inventors Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He is survived by three sons, a daughter, five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.