One of our heroes here at Cakewalk passed away today. Les Paul the original guitar hero, namesake of arguably the most popular guitar of all time, and the innovator of multitrack recording, succumbed to complications from pneumonia at White Plains Hospital. Les was 94.
In 2005, I had the distinct honor of dining with Les Paul at the TEC Awards banquet. Cakewalk had been working with Gibson on the launch of the Digital Les Paul, which included a copy of SONAR Producer, and Henry Juszkiewicz, Gibson’s CEO asked me to join him and Les for dinner. I was so psyched to meet Les, being both a guitar player and someone involved in the art of recording, he represented a double inspiration to me. And getting to sit with Les for a few hours and listen to him casually talk about all sorts of topics ranging from guitar, to recording, to women (yes he was quite flirt, even as an nonagenarian…the ladies at the table will agree) I was on cloud nine. I count that evening as one of the highlights of my career, and I feel so lucky to have experienced it before Les passed on.
Les, we owe it all to you. Beyond pioneering multitrack recording, you had the vision to introduce the world to overdubbing, phasing, delay effects, and more. And where would Eddie Van Halen, Slash, or Eric Johnson be without the techniques you introduced on the guitar.
There have been so many great songs, and countless listeners, that have benefitted from the sonic advances that you brought to the table. Thank you for everything…you will be missed.
– Carl Jacobson, Vice President of Marketing