The most famous guitars in the world

When you think of guitars, you usually spontaneously have images of iconic, particularly striking guitar models in your head, which we associate with equally famous guitar heroes. Whether on stage or on the cover of a successful LP – some guitars have been burned into our collective memory.

1. Gibson SG by Angus Young (AC/DC)

AC/DC isn’t just associated with Angus’ typical school uniform. Almost everyone also knows his dark red Gibson SG with the “devil’s horns”. The shape of the body of a Gibson SG is just plain cool and screams “rock”. Angus acquired his first SG at the age of 16 in Sydney. A walnut look model from 1970/71. To date, this SG has been used on all studio albums according to Angus Young. Unbelievable – one guitar alone is largely responsible for the snotty, powerful sound of AC/DC. Originally, the Gibson SG was equipped with two PAF humbuckers. However, since the appearance of the pickups changed significantly, it can be assumed that Young replaced the pickups more than once. During live performances, Angus Young resorts to other 60’s and 70’s Gibson SG models to protect his “first love”. But either way – a cult guitar for fans of the harder faction.


2. “Red Special” by Brian May (Queen)

The Red Special is actually called “Old Lady” from the point of view of its creator. This guitar gives a whole new meaning to the “do-it-yourself” approach. Brian May, Queen’s guitarist, built this guitar himself with his father – from the wooden beam of a 120-year-old fireplace, a bread knife and motorcycle parts. This is no joke! The result is not a cheap patchwork, but a sensational-sounding, independent electric guitar. Their sound lies somewhere between Fender and Gibson and is described by many as warm, resonant and singing. Like a semi-acoustic hollowbody guitar, the wood of the Red Special contains resonance chambers. These emphasize certain frequencies and thus shape the sound of the guitar. Brian May loves to bring the guitar to what is called string feedback. But the use of an English pence coin as a plectrum also makes its sound. An idiosyncratic musician with a very special guitar and a breathtaking sound.


3. “Triggers” by Willie Nelson

Country star Willie Nelson has been playing his “Trigger” acoustic guitar, which was named after a horse, for more than 45 years. It is a Martin N-20 with nylon strings. This classical guitar, which was designed without a pickguard, is best known for its striking hole in the body. The guitar looks badly damaged, but it has its own unique charm. She just sounds great. Willie Nelson literally vowed to take this guitar to his grave. He uses them both in the studio and live. Numerous guitar experts take care of the care and maintenance. Even if Willie Nelson is not so well known in this country – it is still a touching story about the emotional relationship of a guitarist to his instrument.


4. “Blackie” by Eric Clapton

At first glance, Blackie is a fairly ordinary Fender Stratocaster. But there is an interesting story behind this electric guitar. In 1970, Eric Clapton bought six different Fender Stratocasters for only $100 each at a guitar store in America’s “music capital” Nashville. Back in his homeland he gave away three of these guitars to the musicians Steve Winwool, George Harrison (Beatles!) and Pete Townshend. The 3 guitars that Clapton kept for themselves had different quality components. So Clapton put together his “dream guitar” from the best parts of each of these 3 guitars. “Blackie” was born – that is, almost, because the body of the guitar was only subsequently painted black. This hybrid guitar made history. She was heard on numerous Clapton concerts and studio albums until 1987. Ultimately, Clapton’s guitar was auctioned off for a good cause and fetched the unbelievable record price of 959,500 US dollars.


5. The double-neck Gibson EDS-1275 by Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin)

Jimmy Page’s Gibson EDS-1275 is the secret behind Led Zeppelin’s epic ballad “Stairway To Heaven”. It’s a guitar with an incredible TWO necks. A monster that has to be tamed and then conjures up wonderful sounds. The model was a limited special edition by guitar manufacturer Gibson. It allows you to switch from a 12-string guitar to a regular 6-string. Don Felder from the Eagles also used a similar model when recording the evergreen “Hotel California”. However, this guitar achieved cult status through Jimmy Page, who used it live very often in the 70s.


6. Gibson L-1 by Robert Johnson

This acoustic guitar is something special. Although it does not immediately catch the eye from the outside, the instrument has established a myth. Robert Johnson is said to have made a pact with the devil at a crossroads to become a great guitarist. According to legend, he gave his guitar to a tall black man who tuned it and played a few songs on it. Then he handed the instrument back. Immediately afterwards, Johnson was a great guitarist who had a massive impact on blues music. Dramatically and in keeping with the myth, he died at the age of 27, making him the first representative of the 27 Club. This is a group of musicians who died at the age of 27. (Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Brian Jones and many more.) In any case, Robert Johnson’s instrument of choice was the Gibson L-1, which impresses with a powerful and rich sound that goes through marrow and bone.


7. 1959 Martin D-18E by Kurt Cobain (Nirvana)

Although many associate a Fender Jag stand with Kurt Cobain, his modified Martin D-18E is even more interesting. This electro-acoustic guitar was only produced for one year and is extremely rare. Kurt Cobain also had it converted to make it playable as a left-hander. The character sound of this Martin D-18E can be heard on the Nirvana Live album “MTV Unplugged in New York”. While Kurt Cobain was not a virtuoso guitarist, he did have a flair for bold rhythmic riffs. He is known for his idiosyncratic, dirty sound. The mood that his ’59 Martin achieves in the unplugged recordings is unique! So this guitar made it onto the list.


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