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byudzai 04-03-2019 12:04 AM

NGD: 1972 Martin D-28 -- the most important guitar in the world to me
Sad but meaningful story here.

I first met Don 25 years ago, when he showed up to take my mom on a date. I was 14. He had a shock of half-gray hair, a beret, a leather jacket, and was smoking a Marlboro red. He later said "You should have seen your face when you opened the door."

He and my mom only lasted a couple years but, by then, he was cemented in my life as a role model and father figure. Professional musician, mostly bar singer, mostly acoustic and solo act. Great relationships with the crowds, easygoing, never overbearing. Spectacular guitarist.

The Marlboros added up and his lungs eventually gave out on him for singing. In the past couple years they've given out so bad he can't even sustain the effort of playing.

Three years ago my mom floated to me that he said he was going to will his Martin D-28, his only guitar for 45+ years of playing, to me. That set a fire under me to get my own playing and singing to a level that he might deem worthy for passing the torch.

This past Saturday I drove to Pittsburgh, where he now lives, and where I used to live, and played a bar gig for a whole crowd of friends and family. I actually choked pretty bad, disoriented by the PAs and lack of monitor, but it was good enough I guess. Next morning we had breakfast and he handed over this treasure. (Along with his also-beat-to-tatters Tele and some other goodies).

I like pretty guitars and I have a small collection of them. It's amazing to see this rough, real, guitar, played for half a century by an amazing pro, hanging among the namby-pamby just-for-show pretty-boy shelf-queens. I doubt I'll play any of them for a while.

I've gotten choked up plenty of times picking up his guitar in the past few days. Means a lot to share.

Kerbie 04-03-2019 12:09 AM

What a story... thanks for sharing. That's one to treasure... a guitar of a lifetime.

ManyMartinMan 04-03-2019 12:28 AM

Thatís the look of a guitar well played. Congratulations on your relationship and the guitar.

Steadfastly 04-03-2019 12:44 AM

I liked your story and the close relationship you gained with your step-day. On the other hand I hate tobacco!

raysachs 04-03-2019 03:22 AM

Sorry for the circumstances, but sounds like youíre the fitting landing spot for that beauty. He clearly looks happy to be passing it on despite what he must be going through. I had a Ď68 D28 as my only acoustic for about 25 years - itís the only guitar I sort of regret having sold. It made sense at the time, Iíd no doubt do the same thing again if the circumstances were the same. But Iíd love to still have it now that Iím playing again. But what a spectacular guitar it was. I wish I knew it had gone to a good home. Don doesnít have to wonder about his. Play that thing until youíre old and worn out - your Emeralds will understand...


Parlorman 04-03-2019 05:17 AM

Nice story. Thanks for sharing

bil 04-03-2019 06:01 AM

This may be the coolest story Iíve ever read on this forum! I love that Don had the courage to do this; congratulations to you. Now, play it until you canít and pass it on to someone you love!

beatcomber 04-03-2019 06:10 AM

Any sadness that Don might have about his health and inability to keep playing is almost certainly offset to a large extent knowing that his beloved instrument will be used and cared for by someone who will fully appreciate its significance.

Kh1967 04-03-2019 06:17 AM

Wonderful story. Thank you so much for sharing.

evenkeel 04-03-2019 06:23 AM

Wow. Great story. Great guitar. What a nice thing to read about first thing in the morning.

revellfa 04-03-2019 06:24 AM

Wow. That's just great--the story and the guitar. Enjoy!

llew 04-03-2019 06:46 AM

Great story...thanks for sharing!

Mr Bojangles 04-03-2019 06:47 AM

Hi, enjoy your guitar! I also have a 1972 D-28, but my story is not as meaningful as yours. In 1972 I was living in an apartment on the third floor after dropping out of college. Music was my passion, and although I had employment, I wasn't earning much.

I wanted a Martin guitar, so I basically starved myself for a couple of months, living on rice, beans, and pasta. Eventually I had the cash, and a local music store cut me a deal on a new D-28. I played that Martin daily for the next several months, but got foolish and traded it to get a Gibson SG (no, I don't have that one either). I've always regretted selling the D-28.

Fast forward about 45 years and many guitars later. I found another 1972 D-28 in pristine condition. It is now my favorite guitar. I have been through many guitars in my lifetime, and some that I have sold are painful memories. But the original D-28 I really missed, and now it's almost as if it has been returned to me.

Karel 04-03-2019 07:13 AM

Cherish this guitar and play her. She will accompany you on the most beautiful songs. And yes, you may choke. It made me think of a song I recorded a few years ago.

hilts 04-03-2019 07:20 AM

What a great story and what a great treasure you now have. Thanks for sharing this with us.

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