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Behind every great guitarist, there’s a great guitar. Yet, no ones the names or stories behind these legendary pieces of sound equipment. Sure they’re familiar with the musicians and their work, but they have no idea what sound equipment produced it.

It’s time that these legendary guitars had their story told. Here are three of the most mythic pieces of sound equipment that helped create history-changing music.


Back in the 1950s, legendary blues man B.B. King played a dancehall in Twist, Arkansas. Back then, people would light barrels full of kerosene to keep places warm. That night, though, a fight broke out and one of the kerosene barrels was knocked over, which caused a huge fire. B.B. King escaped, but realized he left his favorite piece of sound equipment inside. After running back in and retrieving it, he learned that the fight was over a woman named Lucille. Right then, B.B. King named his guitar after her to remind him to never fight over a woman.


Amongst all of the musical instruments for sale that one Austin, Texas pawn shop had in 1980 — before there were any online music stores or online guitar shops available — there was one piece of sound equipment that caught Stevie Ray Vaughan’s eye: a 1965 Fender Stratocaster. However, he didn’t have the money for it back then, so his wife, Lenora “Lenny” Vaughan, rounded up $50 from seven of her friends and bought it for his 26th birthday. So overwhelmed was Stevie that he stayed up the entire night writing music and in the morning, he played her the freshly written instrumental, “Lenny.”

Miss Pearly Gates

Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top is known for his massive beard and even bigger guitar collection. However, there’s one piece of sound equipment in his collection that he treasures more than every other — his 1959 Les Paul, Miss Pearly Gates. The story goes that ZZ Top had a car that was nicknamed the “Pearly Gates” for its divine powers of bestowing luck on to the driver. The same friend who nicknamed the vehicle wound up selling it after traveling to Los Angeles with it and wiring the money to Gibbons. The day he got the money, Gibbons got a call about a 1959 Les Paul for sale. He fell in love with the sound equipment and purchased it with the money from the old vehicle, giving him good reason to name it “Miss Pearly Gates.” Get more on this here.

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