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The Music Industry Is VERY Picky About THIS Guitar

Do you think that instrumentalists put cost above quality?

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The Music Industry Is VERY Picky About THIS Guitar

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

Grant Stives, Staff Writer

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Not available to catch the faculty lecture in 302 last Tuesday? Don’t worry, I’ll catch you up on this one, because he is anything but the typical “lecturer”…

Unless you are a musician, Martin Guitar may not be such a familiar company for you, but that’s okay… there’s no doubt that you’ve seen their work before, and by the end of this article, Nazareth, PA will no longer be known JUST for its cement factories. From Maroon 5’s Justin Valintine, to Derks Bentley, even to Ed Sheeran, musicians from both diverse genres and personalities held a certain piece of Pennsylvania a little closer to their hearts. Feel special yet?

Martin Guitars: A Brief History

C.F Martin & Co, begins their history around 150 years ago, during which the founder, Christian Friedrich Martin, was born and raised into the art of instrumental design and construction. Originating in Germany, Martin shadowed an instrument maker and businessman. After having a family, Martin decided to settle down in his residence and remain a guitar craftsman. Due to having no formal apprenticeship, though duly qualified, Martin decided to take the two month trip to the new world in order to pursue his craftsmanship. After reaching and settling in New York during the fall of 1833, Martin launches his own guitar shop, which not only sold a variety of instruments, but crafted them as well. Throughout Martin’s time in New York City, Mrs. Martin began to feel very homesick and wanted to go back to her German roots. After hearing stories about German culture in America, Mrs. Martin’s friends believed that Nazareth was the right place for them. Though a Moravian-centric city, Nazareth was 100% German, and Martin and his family took a three day venture to arrive in what would be considered the C.F Martin & Co headquarters. Shortly after, in 1839, Martin began constructing the first of many guitars in their new hometown. Over the next few generations, C.F Martin & Co took innovation to a multitude of different levels and ultimately set the foundation for the modern guitar.

Today, with a company value of over $1,000,000 and employment of over 700 people, C.F Martin & Co. remains the elite and highest of class instruments by popular country and pop artists. Their exquisite and hand-crafted masterpieces are truly the Cadillac of acoustic instruments.

Who is Dick Boak?

Grant Stives
Dick Boak during the faculty lecture

Proudly representing C.F Martin, Dick Boak, who is the current Director of Museum and Archives, as well as special projects, began his history in a fairly unique way. Beginning his career as an Art Teacher at the Stowe School, Boak taught woodworking; however, being strained for parts, he went to the C.F Martin facility in Nazareth and looked for scrap parts. He had access to every precious wood, such as mahogany, which had been used in the Martin Guitar. Overtime, he began crafting his own instruments out of the scrapped wood. As he was looking for scrap parts one day, he ran into the foreman of the facility, who questioned what exactly he was using the parts for. Boak then showed off just some of the few instruments he crafted and the foreman asked if he could flaunt them around the facility, specifically to Frank Martin, who happened to be the third generation CEO of the company. Shortly after, Boak was encouraged to apply and was ultimately hired to the company in 1976 as a Craftsman Designer. There, he crafted many of the guitars that are noted today as signature units. Later in his career, he was promoted to Director of Artist and Public Relations. In November of 2011, he was promoted to his current position: Director: Museum and Archives, Special Projects. During his tenure, has been honored to work with a variety of artists: The Beatles, Elvis, Johnny Cash, and his personal favorites: Paul Simon, Paul Nash, and Steve Miller. In fact, Miller stuck out to Boak, as he explained “He is so much fun to work with.” In addition, he admired the fact that artists are always looking to reinvent the guitar. Boak, after almost 42 years of employment, is set to retire from the company in January of 2018.

The D-Boak Signature Guitar:

Inspired by Boak’s artistic and craftsmanship, the D-Boak Signature model Martin Guitar was born. This edition combines his artistic and illustrative talents (pictured to the right):

MSRP Retail Price: $2,999.99

Martin Guitar — Screenshot
D-Boak Signature Edition Martin Guitar. MSRP: $2,999.99

But, why the Martin Guitar?

The answer to this question stretches all the way back to 1842, shortly after Martin began manufacturing his guitars in Nazareth. One day, a Spanish musician was visiting Nazareth and Bethlehem. Going by the name of Madame Delores DeGoni, the  musician was guided to a new type of guitar designed by C.F. Martin, where she fell in love with the design and quality. From there, she officially became one of the first prominent endorsers of the Martin guitar.  The design Martin used on that guitar set the stage for every other one they produced to date, copyrighting their infamous “X” pattern on the inside of the unit. Virtually every other guitar to date is derived from the Martin Guitar in some way, shape, or form.

Martin Guitar’s root themselves further in music history. Some of the early pioneers of country music, Jimmy Rodgers, who happened to also be one of the first recording artists, strummed away on a C.F Martin & Co guitar.

 

Even Apple Inc. Admires the Martin Guitar:

Apple Special Event Invite showcasing a digitally altered version of C.F. Martin’s dreadnought guitar. (Courtesy of AppleInsider)

Remember when iPod’s were still a thing? Approximately one week before the launch of the notorious iPod Touch 4th Generation (the first iPod touch with a camera), Apple released their typical invitation-only event card to the press (pictured to the right). On it was, you guessed it, a Martin Guitar, with a Apple Logo replacing the traditional sound hole. After Boak took a closer look, he discovered that there was the iconic “X” design in the body of the instrument. From there, he had a back to back email thread with Steve Jobs collaborating on how Boak and his team could make the photo-shopped guitar a reality. Soon enough, C.F Martin & Co. began to design the signature, one-of-a-kind, guitar for Apple’s CEO. Boak explained: “I love Apple, I’ve always had their devices, so it was an honor to have back-to-back conversation to make the picture a reality. ” The guitar, almost identical to Apple’s photo-shopped version, was completed on the date of Jobs’ passing. After the completion, C.F. Martin & Co. presented the instrument to Tim Cook, who is Apple’s current CEO. Today, the guitar is at Apple’s main headquarters at 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, CA.

Some of the many instrumentalists who trust C.F. Martin & Co.:

  • Elvis Presley
  • Johnny Cash
  • Bruce Springstein
  • Chris Martin (Coldplay)
  • The Beatles
  • Aaron Nigel Smith
  • Adam Gardner of Guster
  • Amanda Shires
  • Anderson East
  • The Avett Brothers
  • Band of Skulls
  • Ben Howard
  • Benjamin Francis Leftwich
  • Brandy Clark
  • Brett Dennen
  • Chris Carrabba
  • Chris Cornell
  • Chuck Ragan
  • City and Colour
  • Colbie Caillat
  • Cody Simpson
  • Craig Ross
  • Danny Davis
  • Del McCoury
  • Dierks Bentley
  • Donovan Frankenreiter
  • Ed Sheeran
  • Elle King
  • Father John Misty
  • Flo Morrissey
  • Frightened Rabbit
  • Gabrielle Aplin
  • Hunter Hayes
  • Jack Mitrani
  • Jack Savoretti
  • Jacques Stotzem
  • Jake Bugg
  • Justin Valentine (Maroon 5)
  • Jason Isbell
  • John Moreland
  • Jorma Kaukonen
  • Loudon Wainwright III
  • Mac Powell
  • Megan Rapinoe
  • LP
  • Milk Carton Kids
  • NeedToBreath
  • Of Monsters and Men
  • Rachel Sermanni
  • Rory Block
  • Samantha Crain
  • Sam Hunt
  • Seth Lakeman
  • Sleepy Man
  • Sturgill Simpson
  • Surfer Blood
  • Taylor Goldsmith
  • Thomas Rhett
  • Valerie June
  • Weezer
  • Diane Ponzio
  • Craig Thatcher
  • Corey Congilio
  • Lindsay Ell
  • Richard Starkey
  • Laurence Juber
  • Greg Koch
  • Anssi Kella
  • Manuel Garcia
  • Adam Levy
  • Anthony D’Amato
  • Command Sisters
  • Corey Kent White
  • Hungrytown
  • Porter and Sayles
  • Tommy Emmanuel.
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The Music Industry Is VERY Picky About THIS Guitar