Pays Tribute To Edmund Fitzgerald
In July, 2000, The Martin Guitar Company announced a new Limited Edition Signature model honoring Gordon Lightfoot, the D-18GL. Production was limited to a maximum of 61. This odd number was chosen to match Lightfoot's age at the time. Later, Dick Boak the artist liaison at the time (I don't remember the exact title) confessed that limiting it to 61 was one of the biggest mistakes he made. After that one, he changed to a limited ordering period to determine the number made, rather than trying to guess at the interest.
All 61 were spoken for very quickly. After a delay in production, the first guitars were shipped on June 11, 2001 (modified 6/11/2001). There were also two prototypes. Traditionally, the first prototype is sent to the artist but it was damaged in shipment to Gordon, so they replaced it with prototype 2. Prototype 1 was returned to Martin, was repaired, and is on display at their museum.
According to their announcement, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of these instruments has been designated to fund The Gordon Lightfoot Scholarship Fund at Great Lakes Maritime Academy (part of Northwestern Michigan College). The academy has the only officer training program for fresh water maritime ships in the United States. Lightfoot established the fund in 1976 to help prevent shipping disasters like the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald.
The guitar has Quilted Mahogany back and sides with an Englemann Spruce top, and has an inlaid "Gordon Lightfoot" signature and a profile silhouette of the Edmund Fitzgerald. You can see pictures and read about other details in the article from Sounding Board Newsletter at the Martin web site in the July 2000 issue. Here is the link; - July 2000 Sounding Board (PDF).
I have been building a list of D-18GL owners. At the moment I have the owners of those listed below - if your number isn't here and you would like to tell me who you are, please write to me. Here are the ones that I know:
Prototypes 1 and 2, 1, 3, 6, 7, 8 (sunburst), 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 20, 21 (sunburst), 22 (me), 23, 24, 25, 26, 28, 30, 32, 35, 37, 38, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 47, 49, 51, 52, 53, 55, 57, 58, 61 (lefty). I have several other names, but not numbers, and one or two where I made note of the first name only. And of course, some may have changed hands since I last heard from an owner. If you have one and want to add to my records, or update them, please write.
List last updated 1/24/2021
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