List: Top 9 Famous Guitars

jimmypageguitarA lot of times in rock n roll music the guitar can become as iconic as the musician. A lot of these guitars below have a story on how they got their name or how they came to be. Without man of the legendary instruments we would not have “Brown Sugar,” “Fell In Love With A Girl,” “Lucille,” “Cocaine,” “Stairway To Heaven,” and others. It was a tough list to form and I know there are some others. So please, tell me what your favorite weapons of rock are. I’d love to hear about the rock warriors that I forgot.

9. Eddie Van Halen – Van Halen – FrankenStrat

If you’re a rock fan then I’d hope you know about Eddie Van Halen’s Frankenstrat. With its white, red, and black paint job, it has created many classic rock staples. Also, if you didn’t know, a copy of the Frankenstrat is housed in the National Museum of American History, part of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

8. Jack White – The White Stripes – 1964 JB Hutto Montgomery Ward Airline Guitar

Both times that I saw The White Stripes, the Airline always made an appearance. Jack had always said that he preferred the shabby gear because it forced him out of his comfort zone. A sting that comes out of tune, a guitar pick that flies out of his hand, it was all there to disrupt ease. Improvisation was a huge part of The White Stripes’ appeal and why I respect Jack even more.

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7. B.B. King – ES-355 “Lucille”

B.B. King, may you rest in peace good sir. King’s Lucille is not only a guitar that inspired a song. But, there’s a backstory to the guitar’s name, which then inspired the song. While King was playing, the concert hall he was in burst into flames. During the blaze, King ran back inside to save the 30 dollar Gibson guitar. Sadly, two men perished in the fire and King later found out they started the fire while fighting over a woman, Lucille. Hence the song and the name.

6. Tom Morello – Rage Against the Machine – Arm The Homeless

More than a guitar, this is Morello’s sonic weapon, engineering many sounds from record scratches, air sirens, and car alarms. This modified franken-guitar – not to be confused with another – was used for many memorable songs such as “Bulls On Parade” and “Sleep Now In The Fire.”  

5. Keith Richards – The Rolling Stones – Micawber

Eric Clapton gifted Micawber to Richards for his 27th birthday, when the Rolling Stones were getting ready to start working on Exile on Main Street. It’s tuned to a open G tuning and only has five strings with the low E missing. To this day, Micawber has been used on the stage and studio.  

4. Eric Clapton – Blackie Strat

Largely due to the influences of Hendrix and bandmate Steve Winwood, Clapton switched to Fender guitars. Clapton’s favorite Blackie strat was played exclusively through 1974-1985. Without her, we wouldn’t have songs such as “Wonderful Tonight,” “Cocaine,” and “I Shot The Sheriff.” That’s pretty important if you ask me.

3. Brian May – Queen – The Red Special

One of my favorite rock stories, the Red Special came about because May couldn’t afford a guitar at the time. It was a guitar that was actually built by May and his father. The guitar has been used on too many hits to name. It truly deserves a spot here.

2. Dave Gilmour – Pink Floyd – The Black Strat

Not to be confused with Clapton’s Blackie strat, the Black Strat has to be one of — if not the most — important progressive rock guitars around. Appearing for the first time at the 1970 Bath Festival, the Black Strat has huge live and studio cred. “Money,” “Shine On You Crazy Diamond,” and “Comfortably Numb” are among the songs it has help create.

1. Jimmy Page – Led Zeppelin – EDS-1275 Double Neck Gibson

Just as iconic as Page’s #1 Les Paul. The EDS-1275 Double Neck Gibson has brought us what some hail as one of the greatest rock songs of all time, “Stairway To Heaven.” It was also used on the studio version of “The Song Remains The Same” and “The Rain Song.” It made many live appearances when these songs where played.

Photo: Jimmy Page – credit – By Andrew Smith [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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