Martin Acoustic Guitars Celebrate 175 Years
29 Jul 2008
This year C.F. Martin & Co. celebrates 175 years of guitar building excellence. Coveted the world over, they are favoured by guitar legends such as Eric Clapton. The company's list of patrons are extensive - Bob Dylan had a Martin 1949 00-17, which he acquired in 1959. He writes about this in 'Chronicles':
Dylan: 'First thing I did was go trade in my electric guitar, which would have been useless for me, for a double-O Martin acoustic. The man at the store traded me even and I left carrying the guitar in its case. I would play this guitar for the next couple of years or so.'
This 'couple of years' happens to be before his official recording days, but the guitar can be heard on the Minnesota tapes and some other early tapes, including 'Wade in the Water', from the Minnesota Hotel Tape, which was released on Live 1961-2000.
Jerry Schatzberg, author of 'Thin Wild Mercury', was there when Dylan turned in his acoustic guitar for a Fender Stratocaster. He shot the cover for Dylan's explosive album, 'Blonde on Blonde', featuring what Dylan called "that thin wild mercury sound".
Schatzberg: 'The frame he chose for the cover is blurred and out of focus. Of course everyone was trying to interpret the meaning, saying it must represent getting high or an LSD trip.'
Photo © Jerry Schatzberg