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matin - gibson - martin - why did elvis go back .

Sun Nov 18, 2012 8:38 am

hello ,

in being a guitar player , i have often wondered why elvis started out with martin then switched to gibson and then in 1976 going back to martin again . i believe that his martin d-28 was the last guitar he played on stage . he seem to be a real fan of the j200 and even using his up to earley 70's . i alway's liked the ttwii era with his pickguard design . but i often wondered why he went back to martin in the later years and not seeing his j200 anymore . graceland has his j200 from 1968 he used in the 68 special and also the ttwii era j-200 also .

Re: matin - gibson - martin - why did elvis go back .

Sun Nov 18, 2012 9:28 am

Since he was using the guitar just as a prop by the 70's, I liked the black Gibsons the best. The Martin just looked too plain.

Re: matin - gibson - martin - why did elvis go back .

Sun Nov 18, 2012 9:44 am

It is interesting to note how frequently his acoustic is out of tune later in the 70s ("this guitar is warped!")

So much for techies supporting a superstar of Elvis' calibre!

Re: matin - gibson - martin - why did elvis go back .

Sun Nov 18, 2012 3:11 pm

It seems to me that during the last year Elvis somehow wanted to go back to his roots and play his guitar more often on stage. For real. He did this also for a short period in 1974 as we know. But from the end of 1976 on he did this a lot more. He did songs like That's All Right, Blue Christmas, Reconsider Baby, Are You Lonesome Tonight etc. During 1977 it became even a fixed portion (allthough short) of his performance. If you take this fact and the fact that from the end of 1976 onwards he also started playing a Martin D-28 again, it seems to me that he felt that for this a Martin guitar would be best to do the job. Don't forget martin guitars may look 'plain', but soundwise are respected and played by virtually all the big names in the business. And rightfully so. To me his motivation might have been a combination of this and nostalgia for the early years. More and more fans, and also critics, asked him to play the guitar again like he used to in the 50's. This in contrast to the use of a more flashy guitar that would just hang there without being played.
Last edited by Gunter on Sun Nov 18, 2012 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: matin - gibson - martin - why did elvis go back .

Sun Nov 18, 2012 5:10 pm

This is something I often wondered myself.
It's because of Elvis' use of Martin guitars in the 50s that I chose to buy my own.. well, that and their impeccable reputation

Image

I'd love a Gibson J series aswell, but can't really afford one!

Re: matin - gibson - martin - why did elvis go back .

Sun Nov 18, 2012 5:41 pm

Gunter wrote:It seems to me that during the last year Elvis somehow wanted to go back to his roots and play his guitar more often on stage. For real. He did this also for a short period in 1974 as we know. But from the end of 1976 on he did this a lot more. He did songs like That's All Right, Blue Christmas, Reconsider Baby, Are You Lonesome Tonight etc. During 1977 it became even a fixed portion (allthough short) of his performance. If you take this fact and the fact that from the end of 1976 onwards he also started playing a Martin D-28 again, it seems to me that he felt that for this a Martin guitar would do the job best. Don't forget martin guitars may look 'plain', but soundwise are respected and played by virtually all the big names in the business. And rightfully so. To me his motivation might have been a combination of this and nostalgia for the early years. More and more fans, and also critics, asked him to play the guitar again like he used to in the 50's. This in contrast to the use of a more flashy guitar that would just hang there without being played.


Yes, i liked the fact he went back to playing guitar and piano on some songs. It would have created a better all around concert and showcased his talents. However, as we know he was rarely in shape for this to be a success. The closest is the last 20 mins at Pittsburg NYE which is great and showed what it could and should have been the norm in his concerts.

cheers Jamie

Re: matin - gibson - martin - why did elvis go back .

Sun Nov 18, 2012 7:30 pm

I always wondered if he went to playing Gibson because of the Memphis connection.

Re: matin - gibson - martin - why did elvis go back .

Sun Nov 18, 2012 7:52 pm

dr borgo wrote:I always wondered if he went to playing Gibson because of the Memphis connection.


There was no Memphis connection at that time. Most "name" country players played Martin's when he started out. Like Cadillacs, they were symbols of success and status. Availability and cost were likely motivators in the decisions at the time too. He got his first three Martin's from Houck, and his first Gibson through them.
see detail pages here http://scottymoore.net/guitars.html

Re: matin - gibson - martin - why did elvis go back .

Sun Nov 18, 2012 9:45 pm

Matthew wrote:It is interesting to note how frequently his acoustic is out of tune later in the 70s ("this guitar is warped!")

So much for techies supporting a superstar of Elvis' calibre!


Well, someone didn't do their job.
It was the responsibility for someone to tune his guitar.

That said, I suppose even if someone tuned it and they were playing
an area with high humidity and heat, the guitar could lose it's tuning fairly quick.