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5 Famous Guitars That Have Inspired Us All

Updated on July 31, 2009
Lennon's Casino
Lennon's Casino

5 Famous Guitars That Have Inspired Us All

Music inspires humans to do great things. If you think about it, it all leads back to the guitar that produced the sound that inspired its owner to write such great songs. Without such an amazing instrument as Blackie or Lenny, so much of the music we listened to over 25 years ago and still do today would not have been written. This is a tribute to 5 of the most famous guitars on history that have inspired artists to do so many great things.

The Beatles Epiphone Casinos

When the Beatles came to America, they bought three Epiphone Casinos. The rest is history. Many people may not know that the Beatles used these guitars, and may wonder “Why is this such an inspiring guitar?” This is such an amazing guitar because of the music that was written on its frets and the hands that held it. The Epiphone Casino is so popular that Gibson, the big brother of Epiphone, does not make a guitar entitled the Casino. Listen to Casino work it’s magic in song solos like “Ticket to Ride”, “Taxman”, “Drive My Car” and dozens more! The Epiphone Casino was used to record almost all of The Beatles White Album. Paul McCartney, John Lennon, and George Harrison all had customized Casinos of their own.

Jimmy Page’s Double Neck

Jimmy Page’s double neck guitar, a Gibson EDS-1275, is one of the most famous guitars in history. Jimmy Page used this guitar to record the greatest rock and roll song ever written, “Stairway to Heaven.” How can you not agree with that? The dynamics and complexity of the song is unreal, and it is all thanks to Jimmy Page’s Gibson EDS-1275 Double Neck guitar, and, of course, his amazing guitar playing ability. The double neck features a 12 string neck (on top) and a regular 6 string neck (on the bottom). This is one amazing guitar that has inspired every artist whether they know it or not. So many guitarists have looked up to Jimmy Page as guitar god, and for good reasons, but he could not have achieved that status with out his Gibson EDS-1275.

Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Lenny

Stevie Ray Vaughan had seen a guitar he wanted in a pawn shop window. Later, on his 26th birthday in 1980, it was given to him by his wife. He named his 1965 Fender Stratocaster “Lenny” after his wife. The wood decal under the bridge is actually a mandolin pickguard from the 1900’s. Billy Gibbons gave Stevie a thicker one piece maple neck in 1982, nothing like the thin maple neck on there previously. Stevie then put on a floating bridge and some lighter gauge strings, and so was born the Lenny we all know and love. Used to record a great number of songs by SRV including “Lenny” (anyone surprised?!). This and the Stevie’s other Strat with the big silver “SRV” letters, “Number One”, were Stevie’s favorites for years. He has inspired basically every single blues guitarist and enthusiast out there today and for decades to come.

Eric Clapton’s Blackie

“Blackie” is Eric Clapton’s favorite Fender Stratocaster. Not to be confused with “Brownie”, the Stratocaster that Clapton had before Blackie, which he used to record famous albums like Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs and Eric Clapton. Blackie was born from the best parts of three vintage Strats that Clapton had bought in 1970. At the same time had also bought three more vintage Strats and given one to each Pete Townshend, Steve Winwood, and George Harrison. So in basically, Eric Clapton’s, as well as millions of follower’s, favorite guitar is Blackie, and guitar that cost $300. Blackie was sold in 2004 to GuitarCenter for $959,500. The proceeds went to the Crossroads Centre, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program founded by Eric Clapton. This was the record for the most expensive guitar, but two years later, another Fender Stratocaster signed by Eric Clapton as well as other guitarists sold for $2.6! The money went to help victims of the 2004 tsunami in Asia. Once again, this guitar, Blackie, has been the inspiration of millions of aspiring guitarists.

Jimi Hendrix’s Stratocasters

We all know where this is going. The blues god that wore his right handed guitar lefty style loudly and proudly. His career was surprisingly short for how incredibly famous he is, lasting only three short years. His backwards guitar has become an icon in the music world, and along with his afro, unique clothing and leaned-back stance, has become one of the most famous silhouettes ever. A few of his most famous recordings are “Little Wing”, “Voodoo Child”, “The Star Spangled Banner”, “Hey Joe”, Foxey Lady”, and “The Wind Cries Mary”. He was an influence on all of the great blues guitarists you have ever heard of – Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, John Mayer and so many more. His music is regarded as top notch, and his legend will never die.

As you can well imagine, choosing just 5 guitars for such an honor was no easy task. I had to weed out some and replace a few, but I feel that I chose a strong 5. Since this hub was so much fun to write (as I hope it was to read), I will more than likely be writing another one more of these. Hey, these 30 hubs in 30 days aren’t gonna write themselves!


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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Look i hate to be annoying, but Jimmy Page did not use his EDS-1275 to record Stairway To Heaven.He only used it live.Also Rory Gallaghers Stratocaster was made in 1961 just so you know

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Though I will point out the eds was not used to record stairway it was born out the necessity to be able to play it live.

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 

      7 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      Hey thanks for the info on the Casino. I actually had no idea about that at all.

    • shimla profile image


      8 years ago

      Good read - thanks - I'd love a Casino - preferably Lennon's old one! Shimla

    • parkerk393 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Arlington, Texas

      Thanks for the nice comment!

    • Krystal Paige profile image

      Krystal Paige 

      8 years ago from Midwest, America

      Nice hub and great choices. I agree Rory was a great guitarist. :-)

    • parkerk393 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Arlington, Texas

      You're right about Rory, but like I said before this is only a list of 5.

    • Rob Lattin profile image

      Rob Lattin 

      9 years ago from Born in Chicago, now I'm in Mostly Michigan

      For me, one of the biggest guitarist's guitar that has influenced many aspiring musicians, including moi, is the old 1959 beat up, worn out Stratocaster handled by the late great Rory Gallagher. If he could crank out great rock and blues with a piece of crap, anyone can -- or so we think. How many great guitarist went out and bought a used guitar and stuck with it only to become great guitarists?

    • parkerk393 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Arlington, Texas

      Got that right.

    • KJRaider profile image


      9 years ago

      As My guitar weeps, Purple Haze Layla, Bellbottom Blues. Black dog, Whole Lotta loving. All great guitarest.

    • parkerk393 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Arlington, Texas

      LAYLA! You've got me on my knees! LAYLA! I'm beggin darlin' please!

      Haha! Thanks

    • johnb0127 profile image


      9 years ago from TX

      Very good list. Although I am not interested in guitars, I loved the music that came from all these icons. Great hub. When I read Eric Clapton, all I could think about was, LAYLA! Haha, good song!


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