Anyone who's ever picked up and played a solid-body electric guitar has had the great Les Paul to thank for having done so much to bring that wonder into the world.
But "Red-Hot Red," who died yesterday at the age of 94, was more than an inventor. At different stages in his life, he was a sound guru, a recording artist, and, above all, a performer. In fact, he was still playing two shows, one night a week, until earlier this year. Few people have lived such a full life.
Back in 2005, I traveled with my daughter Chloe and some other musicians from her high school to see him play at the Iridium Jazz Club in Manhattan. What a night! So glad we went.