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Elvis' 1970s Onstage Guitar Featured as Premier Guitar's 'Gear of the Month'

March 13, 2012

Elvis Presley's onstage guitar during his last performances recently got some tender loving from the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, Arizona, and was featured as Premier Guitar's Gear of the Month.

Premier Guitar recently posted an article about the restoration and the history behind Elvis' primary onstage prop - the 1975 Martin D-28. The guitar was used by Presley during the last three years of performing, including his final concert at Market Square Arena in Indianapolis. After years of wear and tear, the Musical Instrument Museum joined forces with Elvis Presley Enterprises to restore the damaged guitar.

According to Premier Guitar's article, Irene Peters, the head conservationist at the museum, discovered a diagonal break from the nut to the back of the neck. Peters said this made the instrument structurally unstable and was the main reason for performing "guitar surgery."

Despite the structural damage, Peters did leave some marks and dings on the back of the guitar which were signature of Elvis' rhinestone belts often worn in the '70s. Peters told Premier Guitar that she also left the back of the neck near the headstock intact due to the exposed wood coming from Elvis' guitar strap slipping down during performances and rubbing away the finish.

“It’s Elvis Presley’s guitar,” Peters told the magazine. “I removed myself from that just a little bit so I could actually focus on the work [laughs].”

To read the entire article, visit Premier Guitar Magazine and learn more about Elvis' 1975 Martin D-28 guitar.