Music History The Most Famous Guitars Of All Time  

Sean Kelly
191 votes 33 voters 25 items

List Rules Vote up the most unmistakable, legendary guitars in the history of music.

Oftentimes, musical instruments are just as recognizable as the people who play them. Some of the greatest guitar players in history have guitars that are forever linked to their careers. There are so many examples of guitar players who are connected to a certain instrument they can hardly play anything else without heads turning. Take Brian May - can you imagine seeing him onstage with anything besides his Red Special? Nope, you can't. May's self-built axe is just one of a number of memorable guitars that have become household names among music enthusiasts thanks to the people who play them. 

Rockstars' guitars are an extension of their sound and even their appearance, so if you're a musician who's lucky enough to be associated with a special instrument, you likely changed the course of music as well. 

1 7 VOTES
Malcolm Young's Gretsch
Malcolm Young's Gretsch is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Famous Guitars Of All Time
Photo:  Ac-dcfreak785/Wikimedia Commons/Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

The late Malcolm Young, Angus Young's AC/DC bandmate and brother, was known for a single guitar - an extremely modded Gretsch Jet. The infamous guitar had the wiring redone and pickups removed, with the guitarist never replacting the empty holes where the pickups were. The result is the instrument Young played faithfully up until his passing. Following his end, Gretsch rolled out a production version of Young's Gretsch, built to near-exact specs and done in his honor. 

7 0
Is this a historic axe?
2 7 VOTES
Angus Young's SG
Angus Young's SG is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Famous Guitars Of All Time
Photo:  Weatherman90/Wikimedia Commons/Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

It's possible nobody is more associated with the Gibson SG than AC/DC's Angus Young. He's been playing them since before his band even started, and has claimed it was the first big-name guitar he ever bought. It's the sound of everything AC/DC does, and the only model guitar he plays live. There's just something about the combination of Young's stage presence and unmistakable SG. The year of his original SG hasn't been confirmed, though he believes it to be a 1969 or 1970s model. 

7 0
Is this a historic axe?
3 13 VOTES
Jimmy Page's Double Neck
Jimmy Page's Double Neck is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Famous Guitars Of All Time
Photo:  Jim Summaria/Wikimedia Commons/Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

From Jimmy Page's Les Paul to his Danelectro to his Yardbirds-era Fender Telecasters, the Led Zeppelin rocker has put many instruments on the map. There might not be a more Page-esque guitar, however, than the Gibson EDS-1275 Double Neck. That's because it's the "Stairway to Heaven" guitar - the one he played live on the band's most cherished song. Every performance of "Stairway," as well as several other songs in their catalog, was played on the dual six and 12-string guitar. It was ultimtely reissued as a signature Page model. 

12 1
Is this a historic axe?
4 16 VOTES
BB King's Gibson 335, AKA 'Lucille'
BB King's Gibson 335, AKA 'Luc... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Famous Guitars Of All Time
Photo:  Roland Godefroy/Wikimedia Commons/Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

BB King's Gibson 335, AKA "Lucille," wasn't actually the first guitar he owned with the name. It all started during a fire at a nightclub where he was playing, when he ran back inside to retrieve the guitar he forgot. That guitar was a completely different Gibson model, and he gave it the name Lucille after the woman over whom a fight broke out that caused the fire. King named the guitar after the woman as a reminder to never risk his life for something like that ever again.

From that day forward, a number of guitars King owned were given the name. Finally, he bought a 335 model from Gibson in the '80s and collaborated with the company on a heavily customized version of it. That guitar was given the name and is now known as the one and only Lucille. 

14 2
Is this a historic axe?