This April marks the 26th year of International Guitar Month. Didn’t know? That’s okay. All International Guitar Month really means is that you have a month-long excuse to celebrate – preferably loudly – what the guitar has contributed to music.
Slowhand and Hendrix are household names, but less often lauded are the contributions of Robert Johnson, BB King, and many more. Consider this the month where we recognize 5 infamous guitars themselves, and the guitar’s incalculable influence across all types of music.
1. Robert Johnson’s Gibson – This legendary blues man is pictured with a Gibson Guitar Corporation model L-1 flat top. (via) Like all great innovators, Johnson did things with his L-1 that no one had prior thought of, and because of the improving technology, his sounds were preserved. Still today, his mix of soulful singing and fingerpicking are timelessly impressive.
Image via Robert Johnson Blues Foundation
2. Jimmy Page’s double necked Gibson – Both beautiful and futuristic. Still in production, the Gibson EDS-1275, has seen many famous hands throughout the years – from Rush to Van Halen – though Jimmy remains the man who made it famous.
Image via The Current
3. Jimi Hendrix’s Strat – Sometimes it’s tough to recall the guitarist without also remembering the guitar that made them famous. And perhaps there’s no better example than Hendrix’s signature left-handed Strat…which was just an upside down Strat until years later the style had grown in popularity it prompted Fender to begin production of a special model.
Image via Pri
4. Eric Clapton’s Blackie – While Clapton first considered playing the Stratocaster partly because of Hendrix’s influence, he unquestionably made it his own. Compiled from parts of a few other Strats, Blackie was played by Clapton for well over a decade, during the height of his career.
Image via ericclapton.com
5. B.B. King’s Lucille – The story of Lucille is the stuff of guitar folklore. First, picture B.B. running back into a burning dance hall he was playing to retrieve his beloved Gibson ES-355. Two men died that night in that fire. They were fighting over – you guessed it – a girl named Lucille.
Image via bbking.com