In 1949, BB King jumped into a building on fire to salvage his guitar. The fire originated from a fight between two men over a woman named Lucille. King would eventually baptise his instrument of choice, a Gibson ES-355, with the same name. The King of Blues has developed his unique playing style on guitars all nicknamed after a woman he never met.
The 80s was a prolific decade for Japan. Factories like Fuiji-gen and Matsumoku are now legendary in the guitar making world. Those incredibly cool, light weight, Matsumoku-built Aria Pro II series are a perfect example. Oh… and they’re dirt cheap.
The Guild X-50 was Guild’s response to Gibson ES-125. It was the smallest of Guilds hollowbody and the only model of the ‘X’ line to be non-cutaway. Early models were nicknamed Granada, up until 1961 when the guitar was renamed Cordoba.
Family-built by Brian May and his father, the Red Special has been reproduced several times by brands like Guild and Burns since the eighties. In 2006, May created ‘Brian May Guitars’ to market his own take on the ‘Old lady’. Loaded with three Burns Tri-sonic pups, it’s a great quality instrument for $800.
1987-1999 Alder or Ash / Maple / Maple or Rosewood
By many considered one of Fender’s finest, the Plus series was released and introduced a lot of new props. It was the first Strats to featured Gold Lace Sensor pickups as well as locking tuners. Those pickups were appreciated for keeping a 50s feel, but without the hum. Hear it
The very first humbucker and probably the most sought after pickup of all time, the PAF was invented by Seth Lover, then Gibson employee, as an answer to the problematic hum caused by single coils. Famously the de-facto pickup on Les Paul standards of that era, the PAF was the secret weapon to crush Fender.
PAF stands for “Patent Applied For”, as seen on the decal. Story goes that no PAF pickup sounds the same, but they all roar. This is probably due to the fact they were randomly stuffed with Alnico II, III, IV or V magnets. Modified patented versions were produced after 1962, marking the official end of the “Patent Applied For” era. Since then, countless reissues, clones and copies have been produced.
As cool as it is rare, the Gretsch 6117 Catseye got its name from the “Cat eyed” shape sound holes instead of the traditional F-holes. Common to Rickenbacker, catseye holes were only seen in acoustic Gretsch models.