Rock On: The Most Iconic and Sought After Autographed Guitars of All Time
Autographed guitars are more than just musical instruments – they are cultural artifacts that represent the intersection of music and art. Throughout music history, some of the most legendary guitars have been signed by iconic musicians, turning them into invaluable pieces of memorabilia. In this post, we will explore some of the most iconic guitars of all time, their significance, and then detail some of the most sought after modern autographed guitars.
The Beatles' 1964 Gibson J-160E
The Beatles' 1964 Gibson J-160E is one of the most recognizable guitars in music history. The guitar was used during the band's early years, and it can be heard on tracks like "Love Me Do" and "Please Please Me." In 1964, the band was playing a concert in Baltimore, and during their performance, someone stole the guitar. It was later recovered, and the band signed it to ensure that it would never be stolen again. Today, the guitar is worth millions of dollars and is considered one of the most valuable pieces of Beatles memorabilia. It is a testament to the band's impact on music history and the enduring power of their music.
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Eric Clapton's Fender Stratocaster "Blackie"
Eric Clapton is one of the most iconic guitarists of all time, and his Fender Stratocaster "Blackie" is one of the most recognizable guitars in rock history. Clapton played "Blackie" for over a decade, and it was the guitar he used to record many of his most famous songs, including "Layla" and "Wonderful Tonight." In 1988, Clapton decided to auction off "Blackie" for charity, and it sold for a then-record $959,500. Clapton signed the guitar before the auction, making it one of the most valuable autographed guitars in history.
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Jimi Hendrix's Fender Stratocaster "Woodstock"
Jimi Hendrix is one of the most influential guitarists of all time, and his Fender Stratocaster "Woodstock" is one of his most iconic guitars. Hendrix played the guitar during his legendary performance at the Woodstock Festival in 1969, and it is considered one of the defining moments of his career. After the festival, Hendrix gave the guitar to one of his roadies, and it eventually wound up in the hands of a private collector. Today, the guitar is estimated to be worth between $1.5 and $2 million and is considered one of the most valuable guitars in history.
Stevie Ray Vaughan's Fender Stratocaster "Lenny"
Stevie Ray Vaughan is one of the most beloved guitarists of all time, and his Fender Stratocaster "Lenny" is one of his most famous guitars. Vaughan named the guitar after his wife and played it on many of his most famous recordings, including "Pride and Joy" and "Texas Flood." After Vaughan's death in 1990, the guitar was sold at auction for $623,500, making it one of the most valuable guitars in history. The guitar was later purchased by Guitar Center, who put it on display in their flagship store in Hollywood, California.
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Eddie Van Halen's Frankenstein Guitar
Eddie Van Halen is one of the most innovative guitarists of all time, and his Frankenstein Guitar is one of the most recognizable guitars in rock history. Van Halen built the guitar himself, using parts from different guitars to create a unique sound and look. The guitar is a testament to Van Halen's creativity and his impact on guitar design and music.
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Autographed guitars are more than just musical instruments – they are cultural artifacts that represent the intersection of music and art. The guitars we've explored in this post are some of the most iconic autographed guitars of all time, and they represent the enduring power of music and its impact on our culture. While there certainly are other valuable guitars out three, these are ones we feel exemplify the most collectible. As music continues to evolve, we can be sure that there will be new guitars and new stories to tell, and we can't wait to see what the future holds. As of right now, these seem to be the most popular and sought after guitars that can be somewhat easy to find.
B.B. King Autographed Gibson Lucille Guitar
The Gibson Lucille guitar autographed by B.B. King holds immense value and collectability in the realm of music history and memorabilia. B.B. King, known as the King of Blues, was a legendary guitarist and one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. His association with the Gibson Lucille guitar is iconic, as it became synonymous with his distinctive sound and style. Owning a Lucille guitar personally autographed by B.B. King is a rare and cherished possession, representing a tangible connection to his unparalleled musical legacy. Its collectability is further elevated by the fact that B.B. King's autograph is not only a testament to his greatness but also a symbol of his unique bond with the instrument, and the quality and clarity of his signature is absolutely gorgeous. He always made sure to autograph these guitars bold and beautiful and despite his passing, authentic signed Lucille guitars can still be found popping up in the market for purchase. The Gibson Lucille guitar autographed by B.B. King is a prized artifact that resonates with the magic of his music, carrying an enduring allure that transcends time and continues to captivate generations of enthusiasts.
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Eddie Van Halen Autographed Kramer Red Body White/Black Stripes Frankie Guitar
Signed or unsigned, this guitar is a highly sought after treasure so it makes our list for both ends of the spectrum. The autographed Frankenstein guitar by Eddie Van Halen holds an extraordinary value and collectability within the realm of rock and roll memorabilia. Eddie Van Halen, the virtuosic guitarist and co-founder of the iconic band Van Halen, revolutionized the world of rock music with his unparalleled skills and innovative techniques. The Frankenstein guitar, famously pieced together by Eddie himself, became an emblem of his trailblazing creativity and sonic exploration. To possess a Frankenstein guitar personally autographed by Eddie Van Halen is to own a piece of music history, a tangible connection to the genius behind some of the most electrifying guitar solos ever recorded. The combination of Eddie's signature and the legendary guitar's distinctive design elevates its collectability to new heights, attracting ardent collectors and devoted fans alike. The autographed Frankenstein guitar becomes a cherished artifact that symbolizes the incomparable impact Eddie Van Halen had on the world of rock music. Its presence evokes the spirit of Van Halen's explosive performances and serves as a timeless tribute to the enduring legacy of one of rock's greatest guitarists.
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The Beatles Paul McCartney Autographed Hofner Bass Guitar
The autographed left-handed Hofner bass guitar by Paul McCartney is literally a must-have in the realm of music memorabilia. Paul McCartney, a living legend and one of the most influential musicians of all time, is renowned for his unparalleled contributions to The Beatles and his illustrious solo career. His affinity for the Hofner bass guitar became iconic, as it played a significant role in shaping the band's signature sound. Owning a left-handed Hofner bass guitar personally autographed by Paul McCartney is a rare and treasured possession, representing a tangible link to his groundbreaking musical journey. The combination of McCartney's signature and the distinctive left-handed Hofner bass design amplifies its collectability, making it highly sought-after by devoted fans and avid collectors alike. This autographed instrument becomes a testament to McCartney's unmatched talent and his enduring impact on popular music. The Paul McCartney autographed left-handed Hofner bass guitar embodies the spirit of timeless hits and carries the weight of music history, making it an exquisite addition to any collection and a cherished homage to one of the greatest musicians of our time.
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KISS Gene Simmons Autographed Cort Axe Bass Guitar
When you see this ‘beast’ of an instrument, you’ll understand the desirability. The Cort Axe bass guitar autographed by Gene Simmons possesses remarkable value and collectability within the realm of rock and roll memorabilia. Gene Simmons, the iconic bassist and co-founder of the legendary band KISS, has left an indelible mark on the world of music with his unique stage presence and thunderous bass lines. The Cort Axe bass guitar, known for its sleek design and powerful sound, is a symbol of Simmons' commanding stage persona. Acquiring a Cort Axe bass guitar personally signed by Gene Simmons is akin to capturing a piece of rock history, a tangible connection to the larger-than-life performances and rock anthems that have captivated audiences worldwide. The combination of Simmons' autograph and the distinctive features of the Cort Axe bass guitar amplifies its desirability, drawing the attention of devoted fans and passionate collectors. This autographed instrument becomes a revered artifact that encapsulates Simmons' extraordinary talent and his enduring influence on the world of rock music. The Gene Simmons autographed Cort Axe bass guitar serves as a testament to the thunderous legacy of KISS and stands as a cherished symbol of Simmons' iconic contribution to the genre.
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Guns N Roses Slash Autographed Epiphone AFD Slash Model Les Paul Guitar
Ordinarily this wouldn’t have made the list, but when you can find one where Slash adds his original skull artwork, it’s simply a must have. The autographed Epiphone AFD Slash model Les Paul guitar holds immense value and collectability within the realm of rock music memorabilia. Slash, the legendary guitarist recognized for his iconic top hat and blistering solos, has left an indelible mark on the world of rock and roll. The Epiphone AFD Slash model Les Paul guitar, meticulously crafted to emulate his signature sound and style, has become a coveted instrument for aspiring guitarists and avid fans alike. Possessing an Epiphone AFD Slash model Les Paul guitar personally autographed by Slash is akin to capturing a piece of rock history—a tangible connection to his virtuosity and the era-defining music of Guns N' Roses. The combination of Slash's signature and the distinctive features of this guitar amplifies its allure, attracting collectors and enthusiasts who revere his talent. This autographed instrument becomes a cherished artifact, embodying the spirit of rock rebellion and serving as a testament to Slash's enduring influence on the world of guitar-driven music. The Slash autographed Epiphone AFD Slash model Les Paul guitar is a prized possession, carrying the sonic legacy of one of rock's most revered guitarists and serving as a tribute to the timeless power of his music.
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AC/DC Angus Young Autographed SG Guitar
The collectability of an Angus Young signed SG guitar is unparalleled in the realm of rock music memorabilia. Obviously a Gibson SG like the one he plays on stage is ideal, but honestly any SG signed by this rocker stands alone as an awesome collectible to own. Angus Young, the electrifying lead guitarist of AC/DC, is renowned for his high-energy performances and iconic schoolboy uniform. The SG guitar has become synonymous with his blistering solos and signature sound. Owning an SG guitar personally autographed by Angus Young is a treasure coveted by fans and collectors alike. It represents a tangible connection to the thunderous riffs and timeless rock anthems that have made AC/DC a legendary band. The combination of Young's signature and the distinctive design of the SG guitar amplifies its desirability, making it a centerpiece in any music collection. The Angus Young signed SG guitar becomes a cherished artifact that encapsulates the power and rebellion of rock and roll, carrying the spirit of AC/DC's enduring legacy. Its collectability is a testament to the lasting impact of Angus Young and his contribution to the world of rock music.
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In fairness, this list could go on and on, but I believe these are a solid start to what would surely be a prized collection of autographed guitars for what you could still find in today's market. Let us know in the comments which ones you think we forgot.
Written and published by Michael K. Kasmar.
Michael K. Kasmar, the owner of AutographPros.com, has made an indelible impact in the realm of autographed memorabilia over the past 20 years. As the largest autographed guitar dealer, he has cultivated a reputation for providing collectors and enthusiasts with exceptional and authenticated pieces. His dedication to authenticity and integrity has solidified AutographPros.com as a trusted source for autographed guitars, ensuring that customers can confidently add rare and valuable items to their collections. Additionally, Kasmar's expertise extends beyond his business endeavors, as he is also the publisher of the Amazon best-selling book, "The Definitive Guide to Autographs." This comprehensive guide serves as a valuable resource for collectors, offering insights and knowledge garnered from years of experience in the field. Through AutographPros.com and his influential book, Michael K. Kasmar has made significant contributions to the world of autographs, leaving an enduring legacy that resonates with collectors and enthusiasts worldwide.