Stars Honor Their Guitar Hero

A handful of guitar legends hit the stage to salute the man who helped make the sound of rock ’n’ roll possible during a recent Les Paul tribute show at Cleveland’s State Theatre At Playhouse Square.

Paul, 93, was named this year’s American Music Master by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his work in pioneering the development of the solid-body electric guitar that forever changed the sound of music after it gained popularity in the ’50s.

Photo: Janet Macoska
Les Paul shares the stage with "up-and-coming" guitarist Richie Sambora.

The concert, which capped festivities for the 13th annual Music Masters series, featured performances from ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, Bon Jovi’s Richie Sambora and Slash, as well as James Burton, The Ventures, Jennifer Batten, Dennis Coffey, Lenny Kaye, Steve Lukather, Barbara Lynn and Alannah Myles

Highlights of the show included Batten’s take on Paul’s 1948 hit “Lover,” Gibbons rocking ZZ Top’s “Just Got Paid,” Sambora’s ballad “Great Hall of Fame” and Slash’s version of “Vocalise,” the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.

But Paul wasn’t just there to watch. He took the stage with his trio to close out the concert, and was later joined by the entire cast for a blues set the paper called “Momentous. And cacophonous. And ultimately triumphant.”