Folks would read that title and rack their brains trying to figure out who it was. Eddie Van Halen? Prince? George Thorogood (or is he already dead)? Okay...so heavyweights like that may not be the first people to come to mind, but this cat probably wouldn't either.
Les Paul died in White Plains, New York, from complications of severe pneumonia. He was 94-years-old.
The reason why Paul's name was familiar to me was I always recall seeing his moniker on several guitars. He created the famous Gibson Les Paul guitar. You may not know who he is, but chances are you've seen his name written in cursive on the faces of many an axe. Either him or "Fender". If I didn't know any better, I would have thought those were two guitar makers out there.
I speak like like I'm a guitar aficionado and I really am not. The closest I ever came to playing one was that very brief flirtation I had with joining the Jazz Band in high school. Were it not for that stupid unable-to-read-music affliction I had, I probably would have done it. That didn't change the fact that I was still knowledgeable enough to realize how synonymous Paul's name was with guitars.
On another note, I found it interesting that at least from the pictures, Paul appeared to be in pretty good health for his age. Especially given the fact that, in contrast, the recently deceased Eunice Kennedy looked WAY older than her passing age of 88. It was even reported that Paul was still playing gigs into his 90s. It's always to hear about folks that are still able to stay that active at that age. Gives me hope for when (if) I ever get up there.
Rest in peace, Mr. Paul.