What You Should Know About Steven Seagal's Amazing Guitar Collection

Steven Seagal is a pretty surprising guy. You may have seen that video of him running like a frightened toddler and thought that was all you needed to know about him, but once you stop laughing and actually take a good look at the dude, you'll see there more to him than meets the eye. (For example, despite his goofy gait, Seagal does have the black belts to back up his onscreen reputation.)

Seagal is also an avid fan and player of blues guitar, and his collection of famous axes will wow anyone who's into wailing their woes away. In fact, Vintage Guitar Magazine considers Seagal's guitars to be "arguably the finest collection of such instruments in the world." And they're not just for show. According to his unofficial fan site, Seagal "can whip out the meanest, grittiest blues" licks worthy of Chicago or Memphis, and is also capable of other musical genres — "from reggae and funk to modern rock and world beat, or wax melodious on a tender soul ballad." Apparently, if Seagal's killer moves don't take you down, he'll just melt your face off with a fiery riff on one of his famous Gibsons. 

Seagal's guitar collection represents a Who's Who of blues greats

When Vintage Guitar visited Seagal's "veritable museum of blues guitar" in 2009, writer Wolf Marshall was flabbergasted by what he saw: guitars that once belonged to greats like Muddy Waters, Jimi Hendrix, Bo Diddley, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Buddy Guy, Howlin' Wolf, and many more. Marshall and ZZ Top co-founder Billy F. Gibbons were especially taken by a trio of Gibson Flying Vs from the 1950s that were supposedly played by blues legend Albert King. "These guitars are so important," said Gibbons, "they represent what came out of Albert with his hands."

Seagal brought their attention to a worn spot on one of the Vs: "Check out the body, where Albert made an impression into the top with the pressure of his hand," he said. "As you can see, Albert almost wore a hole in solid wood from playing it so much."

For Seagal, these guitars aren't just collector's items; they are pieces of history in which he can still hear echoes of the greats who played them. "I think it's the most important blues guitar in the world, period," he said of King's Flying V, despite owning another that belonged to Stevie Ray Vaughn that boasts the names of Vaughn, Muddy Waters and Albert King etched into it by the guitarists themselves. King's V, said Seagal, "has the most amazing tone and it has all of Albert's energy in it."