Top Ten Famous Guitars
Some guitar players are good and have thorough knowledge of guitar-playing. Some, though, are so great that people recognize the sound of their guitars.
The popularity of these guitar gods has reached such heights that even their guitars take on personas of their own.
10. Head and Munky’s Ibanez 7-Strings
Many were drawn to Korn’s music because of the 7-string guitars of Head and Munky. The 7-strings they used had a lower B-string, in itself producing a low sound. Still, the two opted to detune their guitars one entire step, creating the signature sound many have grown to appreciate.
9. Matt Bellamy’s Mansons
Bellamy’s lightning-speed is often punctuated by his masterful control over feedback, made possible by the guitars he had customized by Hugh Manson. Bellamy’s Mansons are each equipped with a Z Vex Fuzz Factory, an MXR Phase 90 phaser, and a Roland midi pickup. Not too many guitarist have this much gear built into their instruments.
8. Tom Morello’s Custom
Morello is able to make his guitar sound like a turntable and synthesizer all in one song, partly because his guitar is wired differently. Each pickup has a dedicated volume control, and a toggle switch that enables him to mimic the sounds mostly heard in hip hop albums.
7. Zakk Wylde’s “The Grail”
On tour, Wylde uses other guitars, but “The Grail” remains his primary instrument. For a time, though, Wylde lost the guitar when it fell from a truck on the way home from a performance in Texas. A widespread search ensued, with Wylde offering reward to anybody who would return the guitar. The search paid off a few years later when a fan contacted the Wylde camp after purchasing the guitar from a pawnshop. The reunion took place because the fan realized what he had just purchased upon noticing the design, the serial number and the initials “Z.W.” on the guitar.
6. Dimebag Darrell
Dimebag Darrell’s muscular riffs made Pantera the quintessential Texan metal band. His guitar shredding likewise brought his other projects to modest fame – Damageplan and Rebel Meets Rebel.
Darrell’s death had so affected the metal community that Dean Guitars, his sponsor at the time, released a line of “Dime” guitars that are commemorative of the ones he used. Dean has so far released 26 guitars, most of these in the proverbial ML design.
5. Slash’s Lemon Drop LP
Though he has a wide array of axes, Slash still keeps his first guitar, a 1960 Lemon Drop Type Les Paul (LP). The Lemon Drop is the guitar he used in the video for “Sweet Child O’ Mine.”
Contrary to popular belief, however, this guitar isn’t an original Gibson, but actually a replica built by luthier Chris Derrig. Slash so loved the sound of this guitar that he decided to keep it at home and use it only for recording.
4. Angus Young’s SG
Young started playing with a banjo he’d strung like a guitar. Upon moving to Australia, Young bought himself a 1968 Gibson SG and began playing seriously. The rest, as they say, is history, and Young has remained a loyal user.
Due to Young’s devotion to guitar playing, the Gibson Guitar Corporation decided to collaborate with him to create the Angus Young Signature SG series. These guitars are equipped with pickups designed by Young himself and are only used for recording purposes.
3. Brian May’s Red Special
Having a PhD in astrophysics, guitarist Brian May was named Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University in November 2007.
Such is the popularity of the Queen guitarist that some his fame was transferred to the guitar he uses. In most Queen albums and concerts, Brian May used the “Red Special,” a guitar he and his father built with wood from an old fireplace and hardware from old motorbikes and cars. So unique is the design of the guitar that many companies have attempted to replicate it.
By 2006, however, Brian May himself decided that if anybody wanted to manufacture a guitar similar to his “Red Special,” he had to be part of the process. As a result, Brian May Guitars was established in London in 2006.
2. Eric Clapton’s Blackie
When former Cream guitarist and current blues legend Eric Clapton went to America in 1970, he stumbled on a small guitar shop in Nashville, Tennessee.
Out of the blue, Clapton decided to take the best parts of each guitar and put them together. The resulting axe was named “Blackie” for its lacquer finish that was significantly chipped on the guitar’s backside.
Back then, Clapton was only trying to set up a guitar according to his preferences. He couldn’t have anticipated that he had created what would be one of the most sought-after guitars of all time. Today, Blackies are sold in guitar shops and by guitar dealers all over the world.
1. B.B. King’s Lucille
Riley B. King, otherwise known as B.B. King, is considered the most respected blues and R&B musician alive today.
Considering B.B. King a good guitar player is an understatement. Likewise, his popularity is hinged on his guitars he fondly calls “Lucille.” The name supposedly came to B.B. King one winter night of 1949 where he was playing at a community hall in Twist, Arkansas. In the venue, heating was made possible by a barrel half-filled with lighted kerosene. A fight broke out between two men and the barrel was tipped over. The dance hall was immediately engulfed in flames.
King was able to leave, but upon realizing he left his guitar inside the hall, he immediately went back in to retrieve it. Luckily, he got out with his guitar unscathed. Later on, he found out that the two men were fighting over a woman named Lucille. Since then, he has used the name to refer to all of his guitars.
The Fusion of Man and Instrument
The guitar god phenomenon is really about the melding of a person’s talent with the technology available. If anything, these guitars are popular because they’ve become effective conduits for the message guitarists wish to convey.
* Music enthusiasts literally worship rock gods, most especially guitarists who most of the time grab the spotlight in concerts. They make guitar labels famous and pricey that is why if you have the time, you may want to learn how to make a guitar of your own. Etch your legend and be your own star by making your own guitar!