Early in 2016, Kurt Russell made headlines around the globe by violently destroying museum property. No, the star of Tombstone didn’t deliberately walk into the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum and set ablaze Lindbergh memorabilia – or anything of that nature. He smashed – well his character, John Ruth, smashed – a 145-year-old Martin guitar on-loan to the prop department of Quentin Tarantino’s most recent film The Hateful Eight. It was, of course, an on-set accident captured and immortalized on the silver screen which, inevitably, stirred-up the usual muddled recipe of condemnation and solidarity on social media. But the acoustic guitar community and, in particular, the Martin Museum in Nazareth, Pennsylvania didn’t exactly sit on the fence. The museum has since made it policy that their artifacts will no longer be appearing in Hollywood blockbusters. And while fans of the likes of Jeff Beck, Paul Simonon, and Paul Stanley might look at what happened on Tarantino’s set that day as an isolated – and tame by comparison – incident in the history of guitar smashes, it did something important: It brought into the bright, albeit unsteady, light of public opinion the subject of guitar history and guitar care. Something else to consider is the Latin proverb “A ridiculous accident has often been the making of many.” No, I’m not suggesting this is going to somehow lead Russell to the Oscar that’s eluded him thus far in his career. What I’m suggesting is this can’t hurt people like Darrell Jennings, Roger Horneff and John Farrell, Co-owners of American Music Furniture. Jennings knows first-hand how a guitar tragedy can start a meaningful dialogue and lead to something special.
JULY 2018 • SPOTLIGHT ON BUSINESS MAGAZINE
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