Rock's Most Famous Guitars, Illustrated

See some of the most famous guitars ever beautifully recreated in this roundup from a new limited-edition poster.

Rock's Most Famous Guitars, Illustrated
A new collectable poster illustrates some of the most famous guitars in history.

"A Visual Compendium Of Guitars" documents 75 years of classic guitar history with beautifully precise computer illustrations.

Here, we collect some of our favourite images. You can order a limited-edition print of the poster at the Pop Chart Lab website.

Neil Young - 1953 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop "Old Black"

This has been Neil's main guitar since the late 1960s, and survived plenty of bumps to appear on all his best known albums.

Joe Strummer (The Clash) - 1966 Fender Telecaster

Strummer's famously battered Telecaster was recreated, scratch for scratch, for the 2007 NAMM show with a little help from street artist Shepard Fairey, who is known for his "Obey" artwork and the Obama "Change" poster.

Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin) - 1971 Gibson EDS-1275

The pinnacle of 1970 rock excess, if you don't count all the drugs and women. It was also favoured by jazz musician John McLaughlin.

Eddie Van Halen - 1979 Custom "Frankenstrat"

This was Van Halen's attempt at combining the Gibson-style pickup with a Fender Stratocaster body, but it's probably better known for it's wild paint job than its sound.

Michael Anthony (Van Halen) - 1984 Yamaha Custom Jack Daniel's Bass

Why not?

Gene Simmons (Kiss) - 1981 Kramer Axe

Gene Simmons likes to one-up other musicians, but he took the axe metaphor a little too seriously on this one.

Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine) - 1986 Mongrel Custom "Arm The Homeless"

Tom asked for a Stratocaster body with a Performance Corsair neck, 2 Seymour Duncan JB pickups and a chrome original Floyd Rose tremolo system - and hated it. He pulled it apart, and has changed it countless times since then, but it's been his main guitar for standard tuning ever since.

Dimebag Darrell (Pantera) - 1994 Washburn 333

Dimebag could probably make any guitar sound great, but this one helped define his image as one of the greatest modern metal guitarists of his era.

Do you own a custom guitar? What's your setup like? Tell us about it in the comments.

89 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    those pics kinda suck. they look like south park editions
    Also this is a horrible list of signature guitars. Edit: Never mind, I saw the whole poster now, my bad.
    And unaccurate ones at that. The Old Black for instance lacks the Bigsby logo and handle, there's no switch between the tone and volume knobs, no worn out paintjob in the lower left corner, the P90 is too small...
    Arm the Homeless has a double-locking-tremolo. The one represented here has a synchronized-tremolo. RRRRRAAAAAGGGGGEEEEE!!!!!
    It would be alot better if the posters were ACTUAL pics of the guitars and not a drawing. J/S
    Diony x
    I can draw even better with Paint.
    there was actually a book by a french dude who took actual photos of the real guitars, it took him several years to convince the artists to let them their guitar for a day, he even had an edition with real size photos, the book was huger
    I quite like the poster. Individually the illustrations are a bit lacking, but since there are 64 guitars on one poster I can let it slide.
    I know Gene's new axe is a cort, but why is the guitar clearly labelled as Kramer even on the poster labelled as cort on the headstock?
    Seems pointless to do this kind of thing with computer illustrations rather than the actual guitars.
    I think Clapton's 'fool' SG is more famous than a few of those... but I guess they're only showing some.
    I see what they did with one per year but why they have kirk's v and not James' is beyond amazement, and they showed a bass for billy gibbons-_-, Dave Mustiane like the bc rich bich should be on there and one of kirk's esp , marty friedman's kelly, the list goes on and on I could paint an entire room with this. randy's polka dot v, iommi's rusty sg. really loving the inclusion of old black, I wish gibson would make that a tribute series (even though I probably wouldn't be able to afford it) that guitar is amazing.
    I always liked Tom Delonge's Gibson...not for shredding, but a sweet looking guitar And where is Lucille??
    My god this is only 8 out of the 20+ in the actual poster, stop saying such and such should be on here because they probably are on the poster
    Just looked at the full poster...the SG attributed to Angus but no Tony Iommi! Even worse, the 3 PU black LP custom attributed to Peter Frampton but not Robert Fripp! Heresy.
    HA! The 1989 Wyld Stallyns air guitar makes this poster worth every penny!
    Come on you picked a Washburn and then used Dime bag. You should have gone with the Lighting bolt That he used which was a DEAN. I think most people think Dean when it comes to Dime rather then Washburn.
    On the poster at the bottom, they got James Hetfield's 1992 Explorer wrong. Hetfield used the EXP series back then, not the Snakebyte. The Snakebyte wasn't introduced until a couple years ago.