Martin Guitar 1939 000-42: Eric Clapton Unplugged

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This year marks the 25th Anniversary of Eric Clapton‘s iconic MTV Unplugged album which famously featured his 1939 000-42 Martin Guitar throughout most of the show and was highlighted by a softer and slower version of his rock anthem “Layla.

Not only did this performance give his own career a boost but also turned the attention of the entire guitar market to the smaller-bodied acoustic guitars.

Featuring Brazilian rosewood back and sides that gives this guitar an appealing tone, along with delicate “snowflake” inlays on the fingerboard that  illustrates the understated elegance of Martin guitars at a time when guitar makers were putting large pearl blocks or even gaudy celluloid veneers on fingerboards. Style 42 also featured abalone pearl inlay around the top border and the sound hole.

Martin made only 113 000-42 guitars in the ‘30s and ‘40s (and reportedly only 31 in 1939) before discontinuing the series in 1942. In 1986, they of course brought the guitar back into production.

This is a guitar built in a time when everything was unplugged and it still sounded sweet during its legendary 1992 performance.

THE BAND:– Unplugged Live 1992 – Full Concert

Eric Clapton – lead vocals, acoustic guitar, dobro, kazoo

Katie Kissoon – backing vocals

Tessa Niles – backing vocals

Andy Fairweather Low – acoustic guitar, harmonica

Nathan East – acoustic bass, backing vocals

Steve Ferrone – drums Ray Cooper – percussion

Chuck Leavell – piano


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