Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Great Guitars Made Famous by Great Music Legends

By Melinda Judy

A good guitar can become like a comfortable old pair of jeans:.after you've had it a while, it becomes a part of your personality. It's that way with Willie Nelson and his guitar, a 1969 Martin N-20, he named Trigger after Roy Roger's trusty horse and sidekick. The guitar looks as weathered as Willie from many years of use. Many people would see it as trash but is the most beloved of his possessions. He's made a huge investment in Trigger to keep the guitar playable. Although he didn't have it when he started his career, It hasn't left his stage since he bought it 40 years ago and he has become an icon of country music.

American bluesman guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan (1954-1990) played a number of Fender Stratocasters. His favorite was his number one (also called his first wife), a 1962 model. It became known as the most battered stratocaster in rock history, and got rebuilt more than most custom chevys. It was his main performing instrument and he used it in five of his studio albums and on family style.

In 2004, Fender Custom shop produced a faithful but not totally accurate representation of the guitar: the limited edition had a run of 100 instruments. Another of Vaughan's notable guitars was "Lenny", a 1963 stratocaster bought for Vaughan by some friends who together collected $350 dollars. It was originally a 3-tone Sunburst with a rosewood neck. A limited edition of Lenny has been reproduced by Fender custom shop since December 12, 2007 and is sold by the Guitar Center for $17,000. The guitar was mainly used for "Lenny" a song of the same name dedicated to Vaughan's wife Lenora. In 2004, Lenny was put up for auction and sold to the Guitar Center for $623,500.

Eric Clapton played mainly Gibsons up until 1969. With the influence of Buddy Holly and Buddy Guy, he took an interest in playing Fender Stratocasters. In 1970, he bought 6 Fender Stratocasters from the Shobud Guitar shop in Nashville, Tennessee. After giving one each to George Harrison, Stevie Winwood, and Pete Townsend, he used the best components of the other three to create "Blackie". It became his favorite axe and he played it until 1985. He eventually sold Blackie for $959,500 to raise funds for his Crossroads Center For Drug Addictions. Fender Custom Shop has since produced 275 "Blackies" replicas.

The most expensive vintage guitar known is the 1930's Gibson L-1 that originally belonged to blues guitarist Robert Johnson: the asking price is 6 million. Johnson, who is known as the grandfather of rock n roll, has entranced later generations of rock n roll and blues musicians such as The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin. It was rumored but not actually proven that Johnson got his talent by making a pact with the devil. Although he only made 28 recordings in his 27 year lifespan from 1911 to 1938, he is known as one of the most important musicians that ever lived. However, where Johnson's guitar is is a mystery. The only hearsay information about it is that it belongs to a man who lives overseas who isn't giving out any information about it.

Hi, my real name is Melinda Judy but I go by Lyndie Diamond as a stage name. My website is I've had an interest in guitars and other stringed instruments since age 7. I've played professionally most of my adult life and hope to make my music website as entertaining and educational as possible. More information and videos about Willie Nelson is on the 4th page of my website - the 1950 to 1980 section, about midway down. More information and videos about Stevie Ray Vaughan and Eric Clapton is on the 5th page - 1980 to 2000 section about midway down. Robert Johnson is on the 3rd page in the 1930s section. Please stop by for a visit. If you have any questions or comments, my email is If there is a music topic you would like to find out about let me know. I enjoy doing research and writing.

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