Google today is paying tribute to legendary musician and innovator Les Paul with an interactive logo that lets you play a virtual guitar, record it, and then share your composition. The special Doodle is in honor of what would have been Paul's 96th birthday.
You can strum the virtual guitar using your mouse or use letters and numbers on your keyboard. U.S. users have an added ability to use a black "record" button to save a 30-second song. After recording your masterpiece (the red light flashes to warn you when time is almost up), you can play back your track or share the link, generated with Google's URL shortener goo.gl.
Born Lester William Polsfuss on this date in 1915, he died Aug. 12, 2009. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee is known for innovative recording techniques including overdubbing, multitracking, and delay. He also built the first eight-track multitrack recorder.
Paul is also known for his signature electric guitar, which basically made rock and roll possible. He began playing around age 9 and was performing by age 13. Paul played jazz, country, and pop.
Most rock fans have heard of the famous Gibson Les Paul. which has been used by a myriad of musicians including Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Eddie Van Halen of Van Halen, Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols, Slash of Guns 'N Roses, and Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day.
Kudos to Google for creating such a fun tribute, though you have to wonder if guitar hero wannabes will see their work production go down today, as was the case when Google posted their famous playable PacMan logo. Feel free to share your best song creations with us in the comments below.
A couple Google guitarists are already showing off their skills on YouTube (as noted by Thom Craver in the comments below):
Update: The playable Les Paul Google guitar logo is now available on Google's Doodles site.