Monday, May 9, 2011

Hank Williams' Martin D-28 Guitar

This Old Guitar - Hank Williams Martin D-28

A one hour radio program of an interview with Neil Young on CD called Companion contains extensive insight into Prairie Wind's recording, as well as, much other interesting stuff. In the interview by JODY DENBERG, Neil is asked about the Martin guitar that belonged to Hank Williams.
NEIL YOUNG: Yeah. I bought it from, uh, uh, off a friend of mine Grant Boatwright (sp?) put me together with, uh, this fellow Tut Taylor (sp?) he had an old, uh, collection of guitars. And, uh, I went down there and there it was, and he took it out of the back and brought it out and I bought it. I couldn't believe that I could buy it. That I, you know, but I did. And now I have it. And, you know, I've got it for a while and I'm taking care of it.

JODY DENBERG: But you're generous with it. You've lent it to some of your friends?

NEIL YOUNG: You know, Bob Dylan was using my bus. He, he didn't have his own tour bus yet. And he was just getting into using buses, and, uh, so I let him use mine and, uh, when I gave it to him I, I told him that, uh, Hank was in the back and that if he wanted to use Hank, that Hank would be there for him. And so I don't know what he did with it, but he had it with him for a long time. And I don't know what he wrote or what he did, but I know, you know, something must have happened back there.


  1. Hank Williams, uh,owned a plethora of D-28s -mostly, uh, um, herringbones. The, uh, um, I mean most , uh , iconic Williams D-28, would be the, um, one with out tuner bushings, that is, —a, um, war guitar, uh, —made 'bout 1943, so that one has , um, the, uh, diamonds on the fret-board, uh... I mean, um, you know? Like, um, there are a lot of guitars that people can say were owned by Hank Williams or whom ever and even present excellent Photo-shop documentation, but, um, well, that's the business. Let's, uh, not forget that Hank, um, favoured a Gibson in his earlier years. This guitar was used to record his first major hit, "The Lovesick Blues".

    What I am saying, lads, is that THE Hank Williams guitar that he had at death and had played on many of his better known records has been well accounted for and its providence is well accepted. Um, er, uh, Mr. Young does not own THAT guitar. Also, Mr. Young probably bought a nice guitar that was likely NEVER in Hank Williams' hands.

    Would it matter if it was? Why? Play the guitar. DO NOT ALLOW THE GUITAR TO PLAY YOU. Speaking of played, um, uh, I think Mr. Young was played like a fiddle. I have seen the inside of the high-end vintage guitar market for 45 years. From the supposed $5 million USD Mark Twain Martin to Mr. Young's "Hank Williams D-28".

    —No worries, the Mark Twain guitar has never sold for anything NEAR 5 million dollars. Guys who deal with this stuff are treacherous hustlers and would sell their mothers as a D-45 if they, uh, um, could. Hype is their game.

    I love where Mr, young did not believe he could , just "um, uh, BUY the guitar". Moreover, if he was NOT Neil Young he could have bought it for market price. Without SERIOUS academic providence, that guitar is as much Hank Williamss guitar as my old D-28. -Paix