Top 10 Les Paul Guitarists of All Time
1. Les Paul
If we're talking about the most renowned Gibson Les Paul musicians, it's only logical to kick things off with the man himself. Obviously, his collaboration with Gibson to come up with one of the most reputed guitar designs of all time is legendary. But as you may not be surprised to hear, Les Paul was a damn good guitarist in his heyday.
The late '80s Hollywood hard rock scene was churning out bands left and right, and standing out there was not an easy business. However, even among this crowd of big guitars and even bigger hair - Guns N' Roses managed to make a name for themselves. With their less polished, grittier sound, they seemed to embody the essence of rock n' roll itself. With them, a certain guitar player by the name of Slash also became recognized as a household name. And all of that with a Les Paul in hand and a top hat on his head; he would go down as one of the musicians most strongly linked to this guitar.
3. Jimmy Page
During his Led Zeppelin years, Jimmy Page played a couple of different instruments; especially in the early stages of their career. Before switching over to Gibson, most famously he played a Fender Telecaster. Still though; he probably remains the ultimate Les Paul musical icon. Among all the Gibson Les Paul guitars he used, the most famous remains known as Number One. It was a '59 Les Paul Standard, sporting a shaved-down neck and modified electronics; along with a beautiful sunburst finish.
4. Billy Gibbons
When fans think of ZZ Top, they remember the fuzzy guitars and huge beards. And when guitarists remember the band, they recall the smoking blues and epic tone. Both of these came from Billy Gibbons, the lead guitarist, and frontman. His place on this list is cemented not only with his skill with a guitar, but possibly the coolest Les Paul story out there. As the story has it, Gibbons used the money from a used car sale to buy his Les Paul. The previous owner of the guitar had died, and it had been gathering dust under a bed for ages. Afterward, the guitar would be remembered as Pearly Gates - the moniker that had previously been used for the sold car.
5. Randy Rhoads
No list of Les Paul guitarists would be complete without one of the finest metal guitarists of the previous century - Randy Rhoads. This member of Quiet Riot was a true pioneer of heavy rock guitar. He would work on genre anthems with Ozzy Osbourne, such as Mr. Crowley and Crazy train. His combination of metal and classical guitar remains an inspiration to guitarists to this very day.
6. Gary Moore
You'll find few guitarists on this list as underrated as Gary Moore. His career began at the young age of sixteen, when he was accepted by an Irish blues-rock band called Skid Row (no relations to the glam-metal band). While he did not garner the wide recognition he definitely deserves in his lifetime, Moore is still greatly respected and admired in guitar circles.
7. Duane Allman
Some of the most recognizable solos of the Allman Brothers Band came straight from Duane's Gibson Les Pauls. Even though he died at the young age of 24, Duane's legacy lives on with the amazing sounds he procured from his guitars.
8. Pete Townshend
These days, he's known for his crazy live antics, which left many a broken instrument behind on the stage. But his acrobatics aside, Pete Townshend is actually a pretty talented songwriter, guitarist, and musician in general. His epic rock operas have definitely stood the test of time, and many Les Pauls went through his hands during his time with the Who.
9. Joe Perry
In all of his years with Aerosmith, Joe Perry went through just about every Les Paul that has appeared on the scene in the previous three decades. He's an avid guitar collector - and among the hundreds he owns, many are Gibson Les Pauls. It's no wonder either, seeing as they were behind some of Aerosmith's classics.
10. Steve Jones
A Gibson Les Paul aided in the formation of the punk movement in Britain, thanks to Steve Jones. The Sex Pistols guitarist's aggressive style was a trademark of the bandís music; which would shape the wider punk genre as well.