Top 15 Greatest and Famous Guitarists Of All Time Top 15 Greatest and Famous Guitarists Of All Time

Those who love and are passionate about guitar, will surely know the names of famous guitar players in the world. So who are they, let's ...

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Top 10 Most Expensive And Famous Guitars In The World. Photo KnowInsiders

It's safe to say that few things in the world can match the cool factor of a guitar as a collectible. They are works of art that are both flawless and functional, and they serve as an inspiration to musicians everywhere.

We are confident that you are well aware of the guitar's iconic status; however, you may not know that some guitars are investments beyond the pleasant memories associated with The Beatles or Hendrix at Woodstock. Do you think you can estimate the price tag on a coveted guitar?

The most expensive and well-known guitars to ever sell at auction were recently ranked by

What Are The Most Expensive And Famous Guitars In The World?

10. Eric Clapton's "Blackie" Fender Stratocaster

Photo Music Radar
Eric Clapton's "Blackie" Fender Stratocaster - Photo: Music Radar

Sold: New York, 2004

Price: $959,000

Probably Clapton's most recognizable guitar is Blackie. According to his account, Clapton purchased six Stratocaster guitars from a Texas guitar store. After giving three away (to Harrison, Townshend, and Winwood), he disassembled the remaining three to create Blackie, a guitar he would use for the next 15 years. Clapton sold this guitar at auction to benefit the Crossroads Rehab Center, just like he did with many of his other guitars.

Given that it was painstakingly assembled from the various components of three different guitars, Blackie is well known for being a hybrid. Consider it a "superguitar" if you will. Eric Clapton, the leader of the supergroup "Cream," a popular solo performer, and a three-time Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, was the owner of this "superguitar."

Blackie's origin story is fascinating. After buying six guitars and giving one each to fellow musicians Pete Townshend, George Harrison, and Steve Winwood, Clapton had the brilliant idea to combine the best features of the remaining three guitars to create his very own signature instrument. Thousands of performances featuring the legendary Blackie improved Clapton's sound. After ceasing to use Blackie in 1985, Clapton decided to auction it off to raise money for Crossroads, his rehabilitation facility. Given that it sold for $959K, it was a fantastic fundraising idea! This guitar that resembles Frankenstein also demonstrates Clapton's superior craftsmanship as a luthier in addition to his prowess as a guitarist.

9. Bob Dylan's 1964 Fender Stratocaster

Photo American Songwriter
Bob Dylan's 1964 Fender Stratocaster - Photo: American Songwriter

Sold: New York, 2013

Price: $965,000

Bob Dylan's transition to using electric instruments began with this guitar. It was considered almost blasphemous at the time when he performed this guitar for the first time at the Newport Folk Festival. Folk purists were horrified that an electric guitar was being used to taint their genre! It is one of the most revolutionary guitars in history because it upended conventional wisdom and broadened the folk music scene's horizons.

The instrument was sold for nearly $1 million USD almost 50 years after the festival. Pre-sale estimates ranged from $500,000 to $300,000. But when a distant buyer agreed to shell out a cool $965,000 for Dylan's sunburst-finish strat, all hopes were dashed.

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8. David Gilmour's Martin D-35

Photo Martin Guitar
Photo Martin Guitar

Sold: New York, 2019

Price: $1,095,000

In 2003, David Gilmour said his Martin D-35 was the one luxury item he'd want if he were marooned at sea on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs. It's my best guitar, he declared. The guitar is what I always have by my side. I've used that guitar to compose almost all of my music. I get my inspiration from that guitar.

It was featured on every Pink Floyd album from Dark Side of the Moon (1973) to The Final Cut, with Wish You Were Here featuring it the most prominently (1983). However, the 1969 D-35 was not entirely necessary because Gilmour auctioned it off to raise money for the ClimateEarth charity.

7. Duane Allman's 1957 Gibson Les Paul

Photo Live For Live Music
Duane Allman's 1957 Gibson Les Paul - Photo: Live For Live Music

Sold: Dallas, 2019

Price: $1,250,000

According to, the legendary 1957 goldtop Les Paul owned by Duane Allman fetched $1.25 million at auction. The enormous haul occurred in the same month that Duane Gibson's 1961–1962 SG Gibson SG earned $591K.

According to Auctioneers Gotta Have Rock & Roll, Duane bought the Les Paul in 1968 and had it on display at the Allman Brothers Band Museum at the Big House in Macon, Georgia, in recent years. The late guitarist's axe was also the one that Duane used to record "Layla" with Eric Clapton for Derek & The Dominos' Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs in 1970. These sessions resulted in The Allman Brothers Band's first two studio albums.

6. David Gilmour's 1954 Fender Stratocaster

Photo Produce Like A Pro
Photo Produce Like A Pro

Sold: New York, 2019

Price: $1,815,000

This guitar would have been valuable even without its Pink Floyd connection. Despite confusingly not being the very first Strat (which was #0100), it was one of the first pre-production Strats given to Fender endorsees thanks to its serial number, #0001.

Country music icon Rex Gallion was the first owner, and Seymour Duncan had it before Gilmour. It was just a bonus that it was also used to record the rhythm parts that resembled Nile Rodgers on Another Brick in the Wall. Christie's guide price range of $100-150k turned out to be overly pessimistic.

5. Jerry Garcia's "Wolf"

Photo Gear Patrol
Jerry Garcia's "Wolf" - Photo Gear Patrol

Sold: New York, 2017

Another custom Doug Irwin known as "Wolf" is Jerry Garcia's second guitar to be included on our list of the most expensive guitars ever made.

Similar to his custom Doug Irwin, "Tiger," the name of this guitar comes from the unique wolf artwork on the body.

The Southern Poverty Law Center benefitted from the sale of "Wolf," which was able to fetch nearly $2 million at auction in 2002.

Depending on its condition, "Wolf" might be worth even more today.

4. John Lennon's Gibson J160E

Photo Getty
Photo Getty

Sold: Los Angeles, 2015

Price: $2,410,000

John Lennon, who is regarded by many as the greatest songwriter of all time, played various guitars throughout his career. Legendary songs like "I Saw Her Standing There" and "I Want to Hold Your Hand" are credited to this 1962 J-160 E Acoustic. One of the priciest guitars ever, it was sold to a bidder for $2,410,000.

This Gibson guitar was misplaced following a 1963 Beatles concert before it reached its incredible price. The former owner didn't learn who owned it until 2014 after reading an article. According to reports, John Lennon originally paid 161 pounds for this guitar. That price increase is significant.

3. Reach Out to Asia Fender Stratocaster

Photo Lefty Fretz
Reach Out to Asia Fender Stratocaster - Photo: Lefty Fretz

Sold: Qatar, 2005

Price: $2,700,000

The "Reach Out To Asia" Fender Stratocaster was the world's most expensive guitar when it sold for $2.7 million in 2015.

Bryan Adams' "Reach Out To Asia" project, which was started to aid the victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, produced this guitar. which claimed the lives of 230,000 people in 14 different nations.

The guitar is special because it has the signatures of some of the most well-known rock stars all over its body.

Jimmy Page, Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Brian May, David Gilmour, Jeff Beck, Liam Gallagher, Angus and Malcolm Young, and Brian Adams are among the nineteen artists who have signed it.

2. David Gilmour's Black Fender Stratocaster

Photo HurrieYet Daily News
David Gilmour's Black Fender Stratocaster - Photo: HurrieYet Daily News

Sold: New York, 2019

Price: $3,975,000

For four million dollars, you could purchase a lot of strats, but perhaps none as unique as this one. Even though the Black Strat had been extensively modified, contrary to what your neighborhood vintage dealer may claim, it sold for the price of a Beverly Hills mansion.

Along with the infamous shortened whammy bar, it also included a sales receipt for the three unique pickups wound especially for Gilmour by Seymour Duncan. The Comfortably Numb solo, Gilmour's top solo from 1970 to 1986, was played on this guitar. Guitarists knew we would have bought it if we had the money, but journalists gasped at the price.

1. Kurt Cobain's Martin D-18E

Photo The Guitar Head
Kurt Cobain's Martin D-18E - Photo: The Guitar Head

Sold: Los Angeles, 2020

Price: $6,010,000

The early 1990s saw a radical change in popular music thanks to Nirvana. So much so that Seattle, the home of Grunge, became the new musical center, moving from Los Angeles. The band's founder and primary songwriter, Kurt Cobain, passed away in 1994 at the young age of 27.

Just before Kurt Cobain's tragic death, Nirvana gave a legendary MTV Unplugged performance in 1993. It was a Martin D-18E acoustic guitar that was played at that renowned concert. It recently brought over $6,000,000 at auction.

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