Post by phjim on Jun 21, 2020 9:13:36 GMT -5
Check out this article: The Six Million Dollar Guitar
The D-18E was Martin's first attempt at an electric guitar. They made one in 1958 and 301 in 1959 and then dropped it from their line. They continued making D-28Es for a few years, but there was no demand for them either.
Not a lot of thought went into the design of this guitar. They slapped a couple of D'Addario pickups on and instead of designing a new guard, they just cut a couple of chunks out of a standard pick guard.
The first one I saw in person circa 1989, belonged to Tracy Chapman. My son and I went to the Martin tent at the Winnipeg Folk Festival and I got in a conversation with a girl who had a guitar case. I asked her about it and she said it was a D-18E. I said something like, "They weren't the most attractive guitars that Martin made, were they."
She agreed, but said it was a gift and it was nice to play.
As we were leaving, Darcy said to me, "Papa, do you know who that was?"
I told him I had no idea and he said, "That was Tracy Chapman and you just told her that her guitar was ugly."
I probably said, Who's Tracy Chapman?"
I found out when she came on stage that night and I became a fan.
Kurt Cobain didn't like the d'Adarrio pickups that Martin supplied, so he installed a soundhole pickup (A fellow on a Facebook thread says it's a Bartolini 3AV Acoustic Guitar Soundhole Pickup) and that's what we hear on the MTV Unplugged video. You can see the pickup if you look closely.
Current owner Peter Freedman
Some info from the late Mike Longworth's book Martin Guitars A History.
I guess it's an iconic guitar, but $6,000,000