Many of the world’s most iconic musicians have owned hundreds of different guitars, but there’s always that one special piece of sound equipment they always return to — the one instrument whose past is an important part of the musician’s own history. Here are a few of the most legendary guitars in music history.
The Jagstang of R.E.M.’s Peter Buck.
If you watch the video for “What’s the Frequency Kenneth?” you’ll notice Peter Buck playing an odd looking, blue Fender. That piece of sound equipment is a hybrid of Fender’s Jag and Mustang guitars, but that’s not the most interesting thing about the piece of sound equipment. The Jagstang is not of Buck’s own design. In fact, it was given to him as a gift by its inventor — the late Kurt Cobain of Nirvana.
The Double Necked Guitar of Jimmy Paige.
The Double Necked Gibson has been used by the likes of Slash, James Hetfield, and even John McLaughlin, but it was Jimmy Paige’s epic, historic performances of “Stairway to Heaven” that made this one of the most recognizable pieces of sound equipment in all of music history. (The fact that it looks weird doesn’t hurt, either.)
The Bullseye Les Paul of Zakk Wylde.
When Zakk Wylde replaced Randy Rhoads on tour with Ozzy Osbourne, he knew his Les Paul looked too similar to his predecessor’s. So, he decided to put the design from the poster for Vertigo on his guitar. When he went down for the photo shoot and got the freshly designed sound equipment, he opened the case and saw the bullseye design instead. It was too late at that point, and so he went on with the photo shoot. The rest is, as they say, history.
If you peruse the various musical instruments for sale that online guitar shops have, you’ll likely notice that several brands have aesthetically similar models. That’s because these brands are trying to emulate the look, style, and sound of the world’s most legendary guitars.
Who knows? Maybe that special looking ax you picked up from an online music store may one day be imitated, too.
If you know any other fun facts about these legendary pieces of sound equipment, or wish to share stories about other guitars that didn’t make the list, feel free to share in the comments. Find out more here.