9 Guitars Keith Richards Played That Definitely WEREN'T Telecasters

We take a look at some of the Rolling Stones legends lesser-known guitars   24-Jun-14

9 Guitars Keith Richards played

Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards is best known for playing Telecasters, but it wasn't until long into the band's career that Keith owned, performed and recorded with a Telecaster.

Keef has played a staggering number of guitars through the 50 years of the Rolling Stones' existence as a band, and, particularly early on, played a number of obscure guitars stocked by the London music stores at the time.

After the release of the incredible new book 'Rolling Stones Gear', by Andy Babiuk and Greg Prevost, which details every single instrument, effect and amplifier used by Keith, we can now take a look back at some of those guitars.

From archtops to Flying Vs, Keith really did experiment with guitars, particularly during the Brian Jones era of the Rolling Stones.

Here, SonicState's Richard Beech takes a look at what guitars Keef played in the Stones' early days.

1) Gibson Les Paul '59 with Bigsby

Keith picked up his first Gibson Les Paul Standard in 1964, and only kept hold of it for three years.

The guitar, which retailed for $260, had been fitted with Bigsby vibrato unit by the previous owner. In one of those brilliant rock and roll stories, Keith sold the guitar to Mick Taylor in 1967, who was then playing for John Mayall's Bluesbreakers.

Mick's Les Paul, which had been sold to him by sales assistant Paul Kossoff (who would later go on to become one of the most famous Les Paul players of all time), had been stolen.

So he bought Keith's guitar in 1967, just two years before he joined the Rolling Stones, reuniting the band with the guitar.

See it in action in the amazing piece of footage above.

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16 Comments... Comments are closed while we transition to Disqus

Randall    Said...

The song on number 2 is "Not Fade Away"

24-Jun-14 08:37 AM

Mike    Said...

TV Yellow Les Paul Junior???

24-Jun-14 08:52 AM

SimpleMan    Said...



24-Jun-14 09:03 AM

T    Said...

Love that Firebird! Space age design with old-fashioned wood. The Satisfaction tone is nearly impossible to copy, even with a clone of the gibson fuzz. I wonder what else was done to the recorded tone, and what amp it was through?

24-Jun-14 10:05 AM

Mark P. Ritchey    Said...

No Rickenbackers? awww ;o)

24-Jun-14 12:30 PM


where's the L5S?

24-Jun-14 02:08 PM

lonnie    Said...

I remember seeing pictures of Keith playing a clear plastic solid body. anyone else remember that?

24-Jun-14 04:58 PM

craig petty    Said...

The clear one was a Ampeg Dan Armstong, Bill also had a bass

24-Jun-14 05:13 PM

Wopperla    Said...

Look closely at the lower right of the guitar. I believe it says: Rollin' Stones". Great Piece of History!

24-Jun-14 07:08 PM

Jaydub    Said...

Keith has played a Gibson L5-S (as mentioned early) as well as an L6-S and today is partial to 1959 ES-355s.

24-Jun-14 10:25 PM

Tom Atomic    Said...

Great stuff!

25-Jun-14 01:48 AM

Roro Jogi Regar    Said...

Ketih can play with any knock-off guitar and still sounds amazing.

25-Jun-14 09:01 AM

izadore fist    Said...

Travis Beane

25-Jun-14 10:13 AM

dave    Said...

Albert King is left handed.

25-Jun-14 08:30 PM

Titus Vorenus    Said...

The clear guitar he played was an Ampeg Dan Armstrong. Richards was one of the first to be seen playing one, in 1969, I believe. It was made from 1969-1971. I actually have a 1969. Very cool and unique guitar.

31-Jul-14 07:46 AM

Bruce    Said...

Your picture of a Harmony Meteor is incorrect. Keith did play a Meteor (like Dave Davies) but the illustration is of a Harmony H-74, seen here: http://harmony.demont.net/guitars/H74/216.htm

11-May-16 06:16 PM

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