We like to touch them. We like to play on them. Sometimes, it’s a thrill just to look at them.
Get your mind out of the gutter. Mainly, we like to hear them.
I refer to the Rolling Stone list of 20 Iconic Guitars.
Some obvious choices: McCartney’s Hofner Violin bass, B.B.’s Lucille, Les Paul squared, Stevie Ray Vaughan’s poor abused strat, Bo Diddley’s Cigar Box, Neil Young’s Old Black, Springsteen’s Esquire, What’s-His-Name’s What-Is-That?
Some I guess-so’s: Eric Clapton’s Blackie (really, couldn’t it be any strat – since the 60’s when it could have been any Gibson?), Jimmy Page’s Doubleneck (undoubtedly iconic, but I always picture his Les Paul when I think of him), Keef’s Micawber (ya, he likes Tele’s, but he has like ten million guitars of all makes and models, right?), Lonnie Mack’s Flying V (hmmm, not Albert King?)
One WTF?: George Harrison’s 12 String Rickenbacker (George changed guitars for practically every album! How about John’s Rickenbacker?)
To be iconic means the association has to be a strong one. Frequently used or seen, or played at a seminal event (like Hendrix’s Monterey strat, as opposed to all the other strats). So most of the guitars on the list make sense. Some, though, seem to have been chosen to get the iconic player on the list.
They’re all cool though. I do like to watch.