The list of musicians who have played a Les Paul at some point in their careers is long and varied and includes such stellar names as Clapton, Page, Beck, and Slash. Les Paul’s appeal hasn’t been restricted to rock legends though. It’s popularity with Guitarists from almost every genre testify to its versatility.
From blues legends like John Lee Hooker to country stars like Brooke and Dunn and Jazz maestros like Les Paul himself, Les Paul magic has touched them all. Here’s a partial list of players who use or have used Les Paul Guitars during their careers:
is an English guitarist, composer and record producer. He began his career as a studio session guitarist in London and was subsequently a member of The Yardbirds, from late 1966 to 1968, before founding the English rock band Led Zeppelin. Page has been described as one of the all-time most influential, important, and versatile guitarists and songwriters in rock history. In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Page #9 in their list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.
He is an English-American guitarist best known as the former lead guitarist of Guns N’ Roses and as the current lead guitarist of Velvet Revolver. Slash won the “Best Guitarist” prize in the 2005 Esky Music Awards in Esquire magazine. “Sweet Child o’ Mine” placed #37 on Guitar World’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitar Solos.”
It also came in at number three on Blender’s 500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born, and at number 196 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. In March 2005, Q magazine placed it at number 6 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks.
He’s an American guitarist best known as an original member and lead guitarist for the rock band Kiss founded by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. He took on the persona of “Space Ace” when the band adopted costumes and theatrics. Frehley played with the group from its inception in 1973 until his departure in 1982. After leaving Kiss, Frehley embarked on a moderately successful solo career, which was put on hold when he rejoined Kiss in 1996 for a highly successful reunion tour.
He’s an English singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who first gained worldwide fame as one of the founding members of The Beatles. McCartney and John Lennon formed one of the most influential and successful songwriting partnerships and wrote some of the most popular music in rock and roll history. McCartney is listed in Guinness World Records as the most successful musician and composer in popular music history, with 60 gold discs and sales of 100 million singles.
He’s an award-winning English rock guitarist, singer, songwriter, composer, and writer. Townshend made his name as the guitarist and principal songwriter for rock band The Who. His career with them spans more than 40 years, during which time the band grew to be considered one of the greatest and most influential rock bands of all time.
Townshend is the primary songwriter for the group, writing over 100 songs on the band’s eleven studio albums, including the rock operas Tommy and Quadrophenia, plus dozens of additional songs that appeared as non-album singles, bonus tracks on reissues, and tracks on rarities compilations such as Odds and Sods.
He was an American musician most well known for his work with his band “The Mothers”. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa established himself as a prolific and highly distinctive composer, electric guitar player and bandleader.
He worked in various different musical genres and wrote music for rock bands, jazz ensembles, synthesizers and symphony orchestra. Zappa was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 and received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997.
He’s an American musician, who is best known for his roles as a guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne and founder of Black Label Society. He was lead guitarist and vocalist in Pride & Glory, who released one self-titled album in 1994 before disbanding. As a solo artist, he released the Book of Shadows in 1996. Zakk Wylde has his signature Gibson Les Paul model, which prominently features black concentric circles on a white background.
He’s a Canadian musician, known as the guitarist for the rock group Rush. Lifeson founded Rush in the summer of 1968 and has been an integral member of the three-piece band ever since. During live performances, Lifeson, like the other members of Rush, performs real-time triggering of sampled instruments, concurrently with his guitar playing. The bulk of Lifeson’s work in music has been with Rush, although Lifeson has contributed to a body of work outside of the band as well.
Other famous Les Paul players include:
Billie Joe Armstrong (Green Day), Bumblefoot (Guns N’ Roses), Lindsey Buckingham, Vivian Campbell (Def Leppard), Chris Chasse (Rise Again), Graham Coxon (Blur), Eric Clapton, Steve Clark (Def Leppard), Sheryl Crow, Al Di Meola, Andy Dunlop (Travis), Elliot Easton (Cars), David “The Edge” Evans (U2), Don Felder (Eagles), John Frusciante (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Noel Gallagher (Oasis), Jerry Garcia (The Grateful Dead), David Gilmour (Pink Floyd), Stone Gossard (Pearl Jam), Peter Green (Fleetwood Mac), Steve Hackett (Genesis), Kirk Hammett (Metallica), George Harrison, Jimi Hendrix, James Hetfield (Metallica), Noel Hogan (The Cranberries), James Honeyman-Scott (The Pretenders), Brian Jones (The Rolling Stones), Steve Jones (Sex Pistols), Terry Kath (Chicago), Frank Lero (My Chemical Romance), Kerry Livgren (Kansas), Mike McCready (Pearl Jam), Bob Marley, Joe Perry (Aerosmith), Tom Scholz (Boston), Neal Schon (Santana, Journey), Earl Slick (David Bowie),Brad Whitford (Aerosmith), Nancy Wilson (Heart), Neil Young