24 June 2004
C.F. MARTIN AND COMPANY
1939, STYLE OOO-42
The headstock bearing the logo C.F. Martin & Co./Est. 1833, branded internally C.F.Martin & Co/Nazareth, PA. and 000-42/73234, length of back 19 5/16 in. (49 cm.); and leather covered hardshell case with adhesive tape inscribed by Lee Dickson Auction/Boo-Hoo/Auction #30/M. OOO-42 # 73234
This guitar was the main instrument for Eric Clapton's MTV Unplugged appearance, one of the pivotal moments in his career. The picture of Clapton playing this guitar which appeared on the c.d. cover for the multi-million seller Unplugged album, has became one of the most enduring images of recent music history. Clapton used it to play the acoustic version of: Layla, Before You Accuse Me and Old Love, as well as early versions of My Father's Eyes and Lonely Stranger.
The guitar first appeared on stage at the first of the Blues only seasons at the Royal Albert Hall in February/March 1993, used in the opening acoustic segments of the show for pre-war Blues covers such as Alabama Women, How Long Blues and Four Until Late. It went on to serve as Clapton's main stage acoustic guitar between 1993 and 1995, mostly used in the opening acoustic segments of the Blues concerts for numbers such as Malted Milk.
When Martin was developing its first Eric Clapton signature model 000-42EC, Eric Clapton requested that the construction of that guitar should be based on the structure of this pre-war 000-42. A Martin publicity photograph at the time shows Clapton holding this guitar in one hand, and the new signature model in the other.
Although Clapton Signature Martin guitars with built-in pickups began to be used for larger concert venues from 1996 onwards, this guitar remained as the main stage acoustic guitar through the 1997 Far Eastern Tour and the first leg of the Pilgrim US Tour in 1998. (2)
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D. Boak, Martin Guitar Masterpieces, New York, 2003,p. 19-20, 96-97
EC: This is an incredible guitar. I would never be able to part with it if I didn't have one as good which I've kept, an OM. This came from Allanoff...This was the 'Unplugged' guitar and got played throughout that whole period...on stage.
MF:..was it at home too prior to those performances? And used for songwriting?
LD: It's been used extensively in the studio over the last five or six albums. We always have that 000 there.
KK: Is this the first vintage Martin that you purchased?
EC: ..It is the finest...I think that one that Andy's used [lot 10] I've had longer... The Longworth [lot 16] is the first serious Martin that I ever bought...with all the bakelite...mother-of-pearl inlays ..so after that I was kind of easy game..for anything vintage from Martin...But of course it would have to play well.. 'The Unplugged' guitar and 'The Longworth' are incredible playing instruments...
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