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20 Iconic Guitars

From ‘Lucille’ to ‘Trigger,’ great guitars and the musicians who love them

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Richard E. Aaron/Redferns; Larry Hulst/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images; Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

When Jimi Hendrix set his Stratocaster on fire at the Monterey Pop Festival, he explained it as an act of love. "You sacrifice the things you love," he said. "I love my guitar." The world's great guitarists undoubtedly love their guitars – Stevie Ray Vaughan went so far as to call his most beloved six-string his "First Wife." Here are 20 iconic guitars forever linked to the musicians who loved them.  

By James Sullivan

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Christopher Simon Sykes/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Keith Richards’ ‘Micawber’

The Rolling Stone's best-known guitar is probably "Micawber," an early Fifties butterscotch Fender Telecaster tuned to open G, with the sixth string removed. The guitar is named for a character in Dickens’ David Copperfield.

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Bo Diddley’s Cigar Box

The late Bo Diddley fashioned homemade guitars from cigar boxes, an old folk tradition that gave his signature instrument its distinctive rectangular shape. Before Gretsch began producing Diddley's guitars, he built two dozen or more of this own, famously giving one to Dick Clark after a career-making appearance on American Bandstand.

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Kurt Cobain’s ‘Jag-Stang’

According to the late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, he designed his own guitar by taking Polaroids of a Fender Jaguar and a Fender Mustang and cutting them to fit together. Fender began producing the guitar after Cobain's death, and Courtney Love gave her husband's powder blue prototype to R.E.M.'s Peter Buck. 

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