Clearly looks aren’t everything when it comes to a guitar and sound is surely more important than how a guitar is varnished and designed, there is merit to a guitar that both sounds heavenly and looks like a million bucks. This is because a guitar has an impact that will surely go beyond the fine tuning of your ears- when you look at a rock artist performing on stage and he is holding a stunning Fender in his hand, you’ll clearly be impressed. On this note, we decided to bring you 8 of the most beautiful guitars to have ever been played on stage. Decide which is your favorite or let us know if we left something out!
1. EET FUK ESP Explorer- James Hetfield
Metallica’s own James Hetfield has indeed used several guitars throughout his career and many of them have been Explorers, but this model stands out precisely because of the nonsensical writing that have remained without an explanation-EET FUK.
2. Cloud- Prince
Featured in Prince’s hit song “Purple Rain”, this guitar is a symbol of sheer beauty and grace: it was originally custom built by David Rusan in 1983 and while some may say that his signature guitar may have been better, there is nothing more beautiful than the Cloud.
3. “Axe” Bass- Gene Simmons
A bass guitar is still technically a guitar and there was no way that this symbol wouldn’t have made the top of our list. Kiss have always been a band that should be seen and not necessarily heard at home. And in accordance with this image, Gene Simmons had a bass guitar made to look like an axe.
4. Red Special- Brian May
Great bands deserve recognition and where would Queen have been (or better said, where would we have been without Queen?) had Brian May not had his one-of-a-kind guitars? Well the Red Special was designed and built by Brian May together with his father and its particularity is that it’s actually a semi-acoustic guitar (pieces are kept together in a weird fashion and the hardware is also wired oddly).
5. FrankenStrat- Eddie Van Halen
This wouldn’t have been a serious top ten without a Van Halen guitar and the Frankenstrat is simply the best option- a Gibson with the body of a Fender Strat, his Fenderstrat was built by Van Halen himself (and also given the unique finish we know today). Replicas have of course been released over the years but there is only one original out there.
6. Monterey Fender Stratocaster- Jimmy Hendrix
Another world-class guitarist that has shown us all how music is supposed to sound like, Jimmy decided to give us yet another unique moment when he decided to set his Fender Strat on fire at the Monterey Pop Festival of 1967. And it gave us one of the most memorable moments in rock history.
7. Jaydee SG- Angus Young
This guitar custom made by Jaydee Custom Guitars was played by AC/DC’s guitarist after it had received an important add-on: the lightning bolt inlays on the neck of the guitar. Granted, Angus could play the hell out of any guitar he would hold, but this is an absolutely breathtaking guitar.
8. Gibson Les-Paul Standard- Jimmy Page
We’ve already talked about custom Gibson guitars but Led Zeppelin’s guitarist Jimmy Page did have an astonishing collection of guitars. Out of the many items he did have, his standard Gibson with the sunburst finish and the simple yet tasteful feel makes it on our list of exceptional guitars not just because of the music that was played on it, but because we simply can’t picture Page without it.
This was our countdown for the most iconic guitars. We hope you enjoyed it!