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Les Paul Inducted Into National Inventor's Hall of Fame

Electric guitar pioneer Les Paul was one of 14 people inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame this year. Guy Gugliotta has done a nice writeup of the history, so do yourself a favor and read the whole article. Here's some random excerpts:

On Saturday, Les Paul, less than a month shy of his 90th birthday, was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, in Akron, Ohio, as the creator of the solid-body electric guitar, arguably the most important musical innovation of the past half-century.

The electric guitar brought Paul international renown as a musician, won him five Grammys, put him on television for eight years with his wife, Mary Ford, and made Gibson Guitar Corp.'s signature Les Paul Standard a guitar of choice for garage bands and virtuosos on five continents.

"In my wildest dreams, I never thought I would see so many people using them," Paul said in a telephone interview last week from his New Jersey home. "I owe it to the rock-and-roll players, especially the Jeff Becks, the Paul McCartneys and Jimi Hendrix. All of them were playing a Les Paul guitar."

"[Gibson] laughed at me for 10 years," Paul said. "They called me 'the guy with the broomstick with the pickups on it.' "

But then one afternoon Leo Fender, a tinkerer who owned a radio repair shop, showed up at Paul's house in Los Angeles to talk about his own ideas for a solid-body. "Leo and I were always good friends," Paul said. "He said we ought to form a company together, but I told him I'd been loyal to Gibson [guitars] all my life, and I'd wait for them." Paul said Fender, who died in 1991, probably should be entering the Hall of Fame, too, but Paiva said no one had nominated him.

After Fender's visit, Paul called Gibson again, and in a tedious, virtually nonstop 30-hour session, convinced them that the log was the future.

And not a moment too soon. Fender came out with the first commercial solid-body, in 1950, and five years later followed with the legendary Stratocaster. Gibson answered in 1952 with its first Les Paul model, and history was made.

The hall was founded in 1973 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the National Council of Intellectual Property Law Associations. It accepts nominations on its Web site (http://www.invent.org) but inductees are selected by a committee including leaders in scientific and technical fields.

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15 Comments on "Les Paul Inducted Into Inventor's Hall of Fame"

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RememberMetal?'s avatar

Writer/Reviewer

1. RememberMetal? writes:

That was f***ing long overdue.

# May 16, 2005 @ 4:16 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
deathbringer's avatar

Founder, owner & programmer

2. deathbringer writes:

I just updated the story with some more info and the link to the site which accepts votes. While Les Paul certainly is the name associated with quality, I think us metalheads owe some votes to Leo Fender as well from the sound of this article!

# May 16, 2005 @ 4:28 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
BLACKDOG's avatar

Supporter

3. BLACKDOG writes:

OUTSTANDING !!!

# May 16, 2005 @ 4:48 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
^nocturnalheartbeat^'s avatar

Member

I think its about time. he shouldve have been inducted years ago!!!

# May 17, 2005 @ 10:56 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
5. doom&destruction writes:

it took this freaking long???!!!!

# May 17, 2005 @ 3:37 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
6. Butt-Rash writes:

who really cares? awards & hall of fames R totally gay anyways. & what about all the other stuff he inveneted, like multi-track mixing boards and overdubbing? he practally created modern recording single handedly.

# May 17, 2005 @ 4:01 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
ZerO's avatar

Member

7. ZerO writes:

i think thats a pretty prestigious (dont know if i spelled that right) award.

# May 17, 2005 @ 4:10 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
8. brokenwings13 writes:

You spelled it right.

I'm surprised ti took this long, I'm sure they stuck Edison in there in a flash for the lightbulb(pardon the "flash" pun).

# May 17, 2005 @ 8:53 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
my-0name-here's avatar

Member

9. my-0name-here writes:

i wonder why it took so f***en long to get him in. he is the best guitar maker ever

# May 18, 2005 @ 9:36 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
PanteraMJS's avatar

Member

10. PanteraMJS writes:

Les Paul didnt design the Gibson Les Paul, some guy made it for him, but Les Paul hated it so he designed the SG instead....

# May 19, 2005 @ 6:21 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
my-0name-here's avatar

Member

11. my-0name-here writes:

then why did he only play the les paul. kum on tell me smart ass

# May 19, 2005 @ 9:39 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
12. ray writes:

that's not true. he also played a gretsh. i know this, because, i was four feet away from him, also playing a gretsh.

# May 21, 2005 @ 11:32 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
my-0name-here's avatar

Member

13. my-0name-here writes:

ok smartass i a wanted you to talk i would have said something jackass

# May 23, 2005 @ 9:10 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
14. zepprocks writes:

les pauls rock and this shoulda happened forever ago

# May 28, 2005 @ 10:22 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
15. Mary Ford's step-daughter writes:

I think Les Paul ROCKS...Happy 90th Birthday Les!

# Jun 12, 2005 @ 3:10 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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