Martin Guitars, known as one of the highest quality instrument makers for over 100 years, is particularly irate after one of their priceless antiques was destroyed on the set of Quentin Tarantino’s new film, The Hateful Eight.
As the story goes, Tarantino & co borrowed a priceless 145-year-old guitar from the Martin collection, to be used as a prop on set. The guitar was to be played by Daisy Domergue, played by Jennifer Jason Leigh, before Kurt Russell’s character, John Ruth, grabs it out of her hands and smashes it. While the guitar was supposed to be switched out for a prop at the last second, Russell was unaware of the switch and wound up smashing the priceless antique. The scene with Russell smashing the antique was left in the movie, and Martin Guitars was only informed that the guitar was damaged during production.
When the company found out just how their guitar was destroyed, well, they were upset, to say the least. When the news of this story broke on Reverb, the director of the C.F. Martin & co museum and archives, Dick Boak, responded rather curtly to the situation in a follow-up on Reverb.
“We were informed that it was an accident on set,” Boak says. “We assumed that a scaffolding or something fell on it. We understand that things happen, but at the same time we can’t take this lightly. All this about the guitar being smashed being written into the script and that somebody just didn’t tell the actor, this is all new information to us. We didn’t know anything about the script or Kurt Russell not being told that it was a priceless, irreplaceable artifact from the Martin Museum.”
He continued, “Upon inspection of the pieces, we realized that the guitar was beyond fixing. It’s destroyed,” said Boak. “We want to make sure that people know that the incident was very distressing to us,” Boak says. “We can’t believe that it happened. I don’t think anything can really remedy this. We’ve been remunerated for the insurance value, but it’s not about the money. It’s about the preservation of American musical history and heritage.”
The company is going so far as to ban all guitars from use on movie productions. “As a result of the incident, the company will no longer loan guitars to movies under any circumstances,” said Boak.
Why does The Hateful Eight hate on guitars?