The following iconic guitarists have obviously owned several different guitars over the years that they have been playing but they all have one thing in common as well and that is a deep affection for one particular special “ax”. Let’s have a look at these legendary guitarists and their special guitars; starting with number 10 on the list:
10 – B. B. King and the renowned “Lucille”; while playing at a dance hall in Arkansas a fight broke out and some kerosene was knocked over which caused a huge fire. After rescuing his Gibson he found out that the fight had been over a woman named Lucille and has named all of his guitars the same in order to remind him to never fight over a woman.
9 – Keith Richards and “Micawber”; when he asked why he chose such an uncommon name for his guitar (the name is from a character in the book David Copperfield) he claims that the only reason is because when he screams it out everyone knows exactly what he is talking about.
8 – George Harrison and “Lucy”; the cherry colored Les Paul was given to him by Eric Clapton and was named Lucy in honor of Lucille Ball. Later Eric Clapton actually played the guitar as a favor to George when recording “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”.
7 – Stevie Ray Vaughn and “Lenny”; this vintage guitar was in a pawn shop in Austin, TX but the $350 asking price was not something he could afford back in 1980 so his wife, Lenora (Lenny), rounded up the $50 they were lacking from friends and bought if for his 26th birthday. He named it Lenny in her honor.
6 – Willie Nelson and “Trigger”; when a repair shop in Memphis was unable to repair one of his favorite guitars they offered to sell him a Martin which he did, sight unseen, and instantly fell in love with it, naming it after Roy Roger’s horse. He played the guitar so often that he wore a hole in the top; but he liked the unusual sound so much he refused to get it fixed.
5 – Neil Young and “Old Black”; Neil got this 1953 Gibson from Jim Messina in 1969 and then painted the original goldtop black. The instrument frequently goes out of tune according to his guitar tech, Larry Cragg, but Neil refuses to have the fingerboard re-fretted.
4 – Billy Gibbons and “Miss Pearly Gates”; while this ZZ Top guitar player is known for a big beard he has an even bigger guitar collection, however, his favorite is the 1959 Les Paul. The story is that they let a friend drive their 1930 Packard to Hollywood for a movie audition and when she landed the part they called the car Pearly Gates thinking it must have divine powers. The friend sold the Packard wired him the money and the guitar was purchased the same day also christening it Miss Pearly Gates.
3 – Eddie Van Halen and “Frankenstrat”; many guitarists have debated over whether the Gibson or Fender is the best guitar so Eddie just combined the two to create his Frankenstrat.
2 – Jimi Hendrix and “Woodstock”; while he was known to sacrifice many guitars by lighting them on fire but fortunately one survived and it was the one he played the legendary rendition of the Star Spangled Banner on at Woodstock.
1 – Eric Clapton and “Blackie”; Eric bought six Fenders at a music shop in Nashville and gave three of them away to Pete Townsend, Steve Winwood and George Harrison. He then decided to create one super guitar by using the best parts of the three remaining resulting in his legendary Stratocaster that he named Blackie after the black finish.