KK: There are three contemporary guitars we will be offering, the HD-35 6-string and two 12-strings. All of these instruments were made specifically for you by C.F. Martin and Company. Can you tell us how this project got started and what the process was like working with them?
JC: Well to be most frank about this, it actually was synchronistic, as things often are in life, I had seen a recent piece about Stephen Stills, and his relationship with Martin. He had gone to the factory and working with Dick Boak he figured out everything from the size, the wood, the neck length, to what and were inlays would be like. Well, I was just a little jealous, that's all! So I remembered my trip to Nazareth back in 1964 and that guitar I brought back with me then. So, I got to thinking I would call them and while I was thinking that Dick Boak of Martin called me! He said he was just thinking about me because Stephen had just been at the factory talking about his new guitars. He said "We have all been thinking about you because your picture's in our anniversary book, showing you on the loading dock, playing the guitar." That one with my slip showing! He said he would like to come and speak with me about making a Martin signature guitar for me.
He knew I played a D-35 12-string and wanted to tailor it to my needs. I was very excited. So we got together and talked and talked and I visited Nazareth where we chose the wood and the idea for the pearl inlayed wildflower for the neck. That was Dick's idea because Wildflower was the name of my record company. It took quite a while but when the first prototype came I was thrilled and delighted. Dick decided to do a 6-string as well.
I especially like what Martin does when they make a signature guitar for an artist. They ask the artist to choose a nonprofit that the royalties will be given to. In my case I chose both Amnesty International and UNICEF. They are two of my favorites.