How the Les Paul transformed from elegant jazz guitar to rock ’n’ roll's weapon of choice

Gibson Les Paul
(Image credit: Future / Neil Godwin)

As Senior Director of Product Development at Gibson, Mat Koehler is behind the company’s drive for maximum vintage authenticity in its reissues, from Epiphone Coronets to custom color Firebirds. 

But he says the Gibson Les Paul – and the man who put his moniker on one of the most iconic electric guitars of all time – was the guitar that sparked his interest in working for the Nashville company, and it remains one of his ruling passions. 

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Jamie Dickson

Jamie Dickson is Editor-in-Chief of Guitarist magazine, Britain's best-selling and longest-running monthly for guitar players. He started his career at the Daily Telegraph in London, where his first assignment was interviewing blue-eyed soul legend Robert Palmer, going on to become a full-time author on music, writing for benchmark references such as 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die and Dorling Kindersley's How To Play Guitar Step By Step. He joined Guitarist in 2011 and since then it has been his privilege to interview everyone from B.B. King to St. Vincent for Guitarist's readers, while sharing insights into scores of historic guitars, from Rory Gallagher's '61 Strat to the first Martin D-28 ever made.