A 1974 Martin 000-28
Serial No. 353275, in natural finish, rosewood body, spruce top, mahogany neck, twenty fret ebony fingerboard with dot inlays, ebony pin bridge with fitted transducer and two floral inlays, black pickguard and barcus berry mini jack input strap button and a large sticker on side of body with blue lettering SHE'S In Love With A RODEO MAN; and a grey hardshell contour case with white stencilled lettering ERIC CLAPTON GROUP TULSA, OKLA. DELICATE ELECTRONIC INSTRUMENT HANDLE WITH CARE, blue plush lining and Lee Dickson's handwritten tie-on label Martin 000-28 (Rodeo Man) 53275 and adhesive paper label similarly inscribed; case containing a red strap

Eric Clapton described this Martin as his chief guitar throughout the 1970s. He said that this guitar was "very important" to him, and that he was never separated from it during this period. Clapton used this guitar extensively for recording, writing and stage work and is pictured playing it on a number of occasions including a concert at The Hammersmith Odeon, April 1977. The lettering on the side of the guitar refers to the title of one of his favourite artists, Don Williams', songs.

Martin 000-28/Natural
NIGHTINGALE, Anne Conversation(!) With Eric Clapton in Eric Clapton And His Band and Ronnie Lane's Slim Chance Tour Programme, 1976.

MARTEN, Neville Would You Buy A Used Guitar From This Man? Article in Guitarist, 15th Anniversary Special, Clapton Issue, June, 1999, p.73
Sale room notice
In a recent interview with VH1, Eric Clapton mentioned that he thought he had written "Wonderful Tonight" on this guitar.

Lot Essay

In an interview with Anne Nightingale published in 1976, Eric Clapton expressed his admiration for Don Williams when answering a question as to whether he went to lots of other people's gigs, he replied only "...Selected gigs. People like Don Williams. What a show he gives! Just taps his foot.When I saw him the first time, the lighting was unbelievable. At the end of a number the lights would go up. And then when the next one starts, the lights go down again - there's just a spotlight on him, and that's it. None of this purple all over the place. Just simplicity. It was great..."

Eric Clapton joined Don Williams on stage in London on September 18th, 1976 at the start of Williams' British Tour.

Clapton was apparently seen using this guitar on the opening numbers of a concert in 1977, broadcast on BBC's Old Grey Whistle Test; the numbers Clapton played were Hello Old Friend, Sign Language and Alberta. He also apparently used this guitar for the recording sessions at Olympic Studios for the popular album, Slowhand, in 1977. In a recent interview with Neville Marten for Guitarist, Lee Dickson confirmed that Clapton played these numbers on this Martin and added "...At the time Eric was really into the music of Don Williams and was doing things 'Lay Down Sally' and 'Tulsa Time'. I don't know if it was Don who put the sticker on there or Eric, but that song was a big radio hit for Don at the time..."

Clapton is also seen performing a Big Bill Broonzy gospel number When Did You Leave Heaven with this Martin 000-28 in footage originally intended for the unreleased Rolling Hotel film - a documentary of the June 1977 European Tour which was released as a part of the South Bank Show special Eric Clapton - The Man and his Music in 1986. The guitar's distinctive sticker is clearly visible in this footage. Clapton included the Don Williams' song She's In Love With A Rodeo Man in the set of his 1978 US tour.

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