Page last updated at 07:52 GMT, Wednesday, 19 August 2009 08:52 UK

Public to pay tribute to Les Paul

Les Paul
Les Paul began as a country and jazz musician. Photo: Gene Martin

Mourners will pay their respects to guitar pioneer Les Paul at a public viewing before his hometown burial on Friday, it has been announced.

Friends and family are expected to attend the viewing at a technology museum in Milwaukee, before a private burial service in nearby Waukesha.

Paul, who died last Thursday aged 94, was credited with building one of the first solid-body electric guitars.

A private funeral service is planned to take place in New York on Wednesday.

A reception is also due to be held at the city's Gibson showroom afterwards, according to Paul's manager Michael K. Braunstein.

'Brilliant man'

Gibson was the firm which sold Paul's guitars after they became commercially available in 1952.

Following his death, caused by complications arising from pneumonia, tributes poured in from the world of music.

Guns N' Roses star Slash called Paul "an exceptionally brilliant man".

"Les Paul was a shining example of how full one's life can be. He was so vibrant and full of positive energy. I'm honoured and humbled to have known and played with him over the years," he said.

U2's The Edge, closely associated with the sound pioneered by Paul, called him "a legend of the guitar and a true renaissance man."

Paul grew up in Waukesha and picked up his first guitar there at the age of nine.

His final concert in Milwaukee will be shown at the public viewing on Friday, while the Discovery Museum's Les Paul exhibit will be free of charge.

His burial plot will be large enough to allow members of the public to visit, the manager of Waukesha's Prairie Home Cemetery has said.

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