By on February 8, 2016

hateful-eight-guitar-smash3

The guitar collecting world is abuzz over the destruction of a near priceless, 145-year-old guitar made by the C.F. Martin company on loan from the Martin Guitar Museum for the production of Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight.”

Kurt Russell took the guitar out of Jennifer Jason Leigh’s hands and smashed it thinking it was a prop replica and not the original. Leigh’s shocked reaction was genuine as she knew she was playing the real artifact. Director Tarantino was reported to be pleased with the results; the C.F. Martin company less so.

Aren’t you glad the producers of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and “Miami Vice” destroyed fake Ferraris? My guess is that not very many guitar aficionados will pay to see Tarantino’s latest oeuvre.

Mayhem and destruction (not all of it real) after the jump.

You can hear the guitar being smashed at the end of this soundtrack excerpt:

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64 Comments on “This is Why They Use Fake Ferraris in Movies and TV...”


  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    What is the Baruth family take on this?

    • 0 avatar
      NoID

      I think right now the TTAC staff are still waving the smelling salts under Jack’s nose to bring him back to consciousness.

    • 0 avatar

      That’s a serious tragedy. The value of such an instrument lies not in the money it would fetch at an auction, but in its historical significance.

      Anyone who would say something along the lines of “They were insured for the money, so it’s okay,” is simply ignorant. And I say that in the true meaning of the word, not the “you don’t agree with my liberal worldview” way.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    First off, Hateful Eight was absolute rubbish and would really only work as a theatre play. That’s the only way you could fend off intense boredom – as you expect theatre plays to have only two people doing things at a time for the duration. I was incredibly disappointed.

    Second, I’m sure both the loaning company and the producing studio were well-insured on this artifact of a guitar. And yes it can never be replaced, but with the money you can buy something quite similar I’m sure.

    • 0 avatar
      doublechili

      If Tarantino was supposed to have stopped the scene so that the “stunt guitar” could be inserted, I tend to think he might have knowingly let the real guitar get destroyed knowing it would elicit a truer response for the actor Leigh. Mission accomplished. But call me cynical.

      [Edit: CoreyDL, this was not intended to be a reply to your post and should have gone at the bottom – sloppy clicking on my part.]

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        This also seems very plausible!

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        If I was directing, I may pull such a stunt but I would have done it through trickery. For instance I would have put say certain newer looking guitar strands on the replica and older looking ones on the original and told the actor this is how to tell them apart. I would then switch the strands so the older ones go on the replica and then allow the replica to be destroyed letting the actress think for the scene the artifact was ruined. Same effect with a happier ending with the only thing damaged being the actress’s respect for me.

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      I agree on the rubbish part… I’m a big Tarantino fan and I couldn’t even stand that movie. First half was alright, then it went to total sht in a flash. People actually walked out during the last 1/3rd of the film. Part of me wishes I had been one of them.

    • 0 avatar
      VenomV12

      Hateful Eight was a fantastic movie, so eh, whatever. 75% of critics liked it and 78% of audience members liked it so it would seem the general consensus is that much more people liked it than not. I saw it in a full theater the first night and not one person walked out.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        That’s a nice, thorough review! Countering that, I’d say Tarantino fans are both very fanatical and very vocal online.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Hateful Eight was bad and you should feel bad for liking it.

        (I haven’t seen it)

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        Man, you need some higher standards…..

        If it is true that only 78% of the opening weekend audience of a movie by an iconic director, backed up by an almost as iconic cast, “liked it.”………. I don’t know what to say.

        As for art critics, it’s their opinion 10-30 years from now that counts. Not their initial reaction.

        Given Tarantino’s audience, and his/their generally nihilistic outlook, I’d say smashing up an irreplaceable guitar will just make the movie more in character and “autentico.”

        • 0 avatar
          VolandoBajo

          Peckinpah’s films were widely panned and considered violent trash by many at the time. Now they are considered to be much better than that, and even to be an argument against violence, as Peckinpah said that he intended them to be.

          It is too early to say for sure what Tarantino’s assessment will be in the long run. For me, Reservoir Dogs was innovative, Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill well structured, Django a brilliant way to make an important social point, and Hateful Eight was nothing more than a potboiler and/or an attempt that failed.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    I’m going to give my Martin a hug and check its humidifier *right now*.

  • avatar
    PeterKK

    Wow. That is sad. They should have just used a replica. :p

  • avatar
    NoID

    I really don’t have a true appreciation for musical instruments because that’s not my world, but I absolutely understand the level of respect in that community for precious, rare, custom, expensive, or otherwise noteworthy instruments.

    Case in point, my father bought up several Harley-Davidson special edition Gibson acoustic guitars about 25 years ago when they were first introduced. One of them he presented to Alan Jackson as our backstage / tour bus pass back when I was about 4 years old and about as obsessed with a musician as I’ve ever been. The others helped tide him over financially during a very rough patch in my parents’ not so distant past. I think he still has one.

    So if something so seemingly mundane to me would be deemed worthy of special attention by one of the greatest country artists in recent history and tide my parents over financially by providing several months’ worth of income, I can’t begin to imagine what the loss of the guitar described in the article would mean for the community. It sounds absolutely tragic.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    That guitar was a greater asset of our culture than any movie Tarantino has made since Pulp Fiction.

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      @CJinSD, I would agree 100% with your posting if you omitted the final 3 words.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Can someone explain why? Why the importance – the age and rarity – is that it? Bark isn’t gonna do it, he just wanted a reason to reply to someone else’s comment and call me ignorant – like he does almost weekly.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Name something you have an appreciation for, Corey.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        I’ll try based on the meager information gleaned from watching Pawn Stars.

        1) It is irreplaceable.
        2) Martin’s are considered the premier American guitars of that era and perhaps still the premier American acoustic guitars.
        3) Therefore it would have historical importance.
        4) Rarity.
        5) A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever.

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        not being exactly sure about this guitar, it might be the design and historical information. Maybe who used it and at what events and recordings.
        I do understand the rarity of more acoustic instruments as they have special woods, finishing, the way the fret plays, etc., that effect their sounds.Not so much with the electric guitars…since the mechanical parts have all been improved upon.
        My vintage 12 string had a damaged front and an expert builder replaced it. It never had the same sound again. One of the last American Epiphone 12 strings…and still wish for that old wood sound back.

    • 0 avatar

      He’s been going downhill stupid since “Jackie Brown”

  • avatar
    319583076

    Collecting guitars is stupid. Playing them, however, can be transcendent…

    And since we’re here: Tarantino is a boring hack.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      I dont think Ill ever get Tarantino, when hes not lecturing us on Clark Kent being a costume, hes “paying tribute” to whatever b movies he watched at some point.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      “Collecting guitars is stupid. ” It all depends what a person’s value system gravitates toward.

      My best fiend has over 30 vintage guitars, including the 1963 Fender Stratocaster his parents bought him in HS and 29 other guitars he bought new, used, traded stuff for, or picked up in pawn shops over the decades.

      His homeowner/fire insurance includes an extra $100K coverage for just his guitar collection on top of the rest of his stuff.

  • avatar
    th009

    Near priceless? A quick search of the Brompton’s musical instrument auction web site shows estimated prices in the $2K-5K range for an 1870s C.F. Martin guitar. These were factory-produced instruments, after all.

    A Stradivarius from the golden period, sure, that might be near priceless. In this case, the destruction is unfortunate, and indeed it cannot be replaced (but neither can a 1961 Corvair, for that matter) but “near priceless” really is hyperbole.

    • 0 avatar

      Point taken. How about almost irreplaceable? I’m assuming that because it was a museum piece, in Martin’s own museum, it’s not just any 1870s guitar from their company.

      For the matter, Stradivari’s workshop was a factory too. Hudson Italias were handmade and they’re a lot rarer than a Cremona violin but nobody’s insuring them for millions, though one could make an argument that some 1950s and 1960s Ferraris, which are often now worth more than a Stradivarius or Guarneri, are sort of their equivalent – a tool that is now more valuable as an artifact.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Wait, we’re in mourning over a $4K guitar? Moving on…

    • 0 avatar
      ImAbeFroman

      Price depends on many things. Some Martins from the 1930s are worth $500,000+ .

  • avatar
    seth1065

    Ok Why would they lend the “priceless Guitar” out?

  • avatar
    Cole Grundy

    Shit movies for stupid people

  • avatar
    Chan

    Rarity and historical significance.

    A Ferrari 250 GTO would be on the level of Stradivarius violins. Make a replica and destroy that.

    A Ferrari 458 is not of particular rarity (by Ferrari standards) or historical significance. Although I don’t like to see the fruit of such gorgeous design and intense R&D destroyed for the sake of entertainment, it’s replaceable and the production company can do what it wants with its property.

    • 0 avatar
      TonyJZX

      Still, an f458 is not a cheap or easily available vehicle. 2ndly exotics cars like this arent reliable. I was surprised to find out that many cars used in movies are just the fiberglass replica shells with Chevy 350 v8s and 3 spd powerglides behind them. These things are cheap and they turn on the key every time. When time is money you need that reliabilty.

      • 0 avatar
        Chan

        Sure, but I’m guessing that building a functional, safe replica isn’t cheap either.

        Regardless, many films still need access to a real one to film the interior as the actors are “driving.”

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    Tarantino’s problem is that he’s a grown man with the sensibilities of a 13-year-old boy who’s obsessed with Japanese anime and horror movies.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    Would the National Archives lend out the original Declaration of Independence? Would any museum lend out a real Van Gogh painting?

    I’m sorry the guitar was destroyed, but what idiot at Martin lent anything rare and valuable to Quentin Tarantino? Have they never seen his movies?

  • avatar
    SaulTigh

    Just to respond to some of the various things said above:

    I saw the roadshow version of Hateful 8 projected in 70mm, which as a former 35mm projectionist who worked for crap chains that didn’t care about quality presentation, a real treat for me. I didn’t think it was Tarantino’s best, but I still enjoyed it and was never bored, despite the length. I love the way he writes dialog and I love the actors he gets to recite it. The audience I was with seemed to appreciate it too (nearly sold out auditorium) and nobody left early.

    Collecting most things is dumb. Really, really dumb, if you think about it. You can only drive one car at a time, or wear one watch (my particular poison), but to each their own. Most extensive and expensive car, art, or guitar collections are wasted on rich a$$hats who can afford them. Sometimes, you get someone like Jay Leno, who shares his collection so openly, and speaks to his passion so lovingly, that it becomes something more. I used to be into collecting various things, but it never made me happy, and it became it’s own source of stress. For me, I’ve come to the conclusion that owning one cherished thing is better than chasing the collecting dragon, but again, to each their own. EVERYBODY has something they would spend money on that other people think is dumb.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      I also enjoyed it. I got into the right mood for it and it was suspenseful throughout. It was interesting to put my mind into a scenario where you can’t trust anyone you encounter. Before that, I’m not sure I really appreciated how vulnerable you’d be if you’re carrying anything of value in those times, or at any previous point in human history. It would be so easy to get away with anything.

      It was possibly a little too long though. When I recommended it to friends, I told them to keep the length in mind and take a break or watch it in two parts if necessary. I would not have wanted to sit in a theater seat for that long.

  • avatar
    NickS

    I have no opinion on collecting, or the market value of old things, but the wanton destruction of such an old Martin is gratuitous stupidity.

    Guitars, if properly kept and cared for age and change their sound considerably. I would be rather intrigued to hear the sound of such an old instrument.

    So there are people for whom it matters very little if the guitar was insured or how much it was worth, or what a good investment it made.

    It’s not the end of the world, but it was entirely preventable and money alone can’t recreate that instrument or its vintage.

  • avatar
    shaker

    I cringe when I see real guitars and other musical instruments (no matter how “inexpensive”) being destroyed in silly stunts.

    I think that these instruments, (which, in the hands of youngsters who can’t afford one could possibly change their lives), being wantonly destroyed is a sign of sickness – a small sickness, but one of many.

    John Hiatt’s “Perfectly Good Guitar” states my position well.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      So agree. I despise the rock cliche of smashing axes and the people who could destroy a delicate, fragile acoustic are older versions of those kids who’d torture insects, amphibians and small mammals.

      I believe the eye-for-eye concept needs its remit expanded.

      • 0 avatar
        VolandoBajo

        And then there was Jerry Lee Lewis, forced by the promoter to open for Chuck Berry. He finished his set with Great Balls of Fire, setting his piano on fire as he did.

        A lesser known and lesser reported corollary was that he was bitter at having to open for Berry, and as he walked off the stage, and by Berry waiting in the wings to go on, he said to him “Top that, N*****!”.

        Personally, I think the intensity of the moment fully justified the roasting of one piano, though I can understand why others might be offended more by the pyrotechnics, than by the egregious racism fostered by the perceived slight to Lewis.

  • avatar
    Erikstrawn

    If you gave me the choice between a vintage GT40 and a handbuilt replica, I would probably make my choice based on condition. Sentiment should not play into a thoughtful decision.

    What makes a Stradivarius valuable is the supreme craftsmanship that made it one of the best violins ever. I’m sure with enough attention to detail, the sound of a vintage C.F. Martin can be replicated in a modern build, if someone has the desire to take the time to recreate it.

    If we keep all the treasures of our past, who will be motivated to craft the treasures of our modern era? I can see smashing a guitar for art, if it inspires a younger generation to let go and move on to create their own masterpieces.

    • 0 avatar
      ckb

      “What makes a Stradivarius valuable is the supreme craftsmanship that made it one of the best violins ever. I’m sure with enough attention to detail, the sound of a vintage C.F. Martin can be replicated in a modern build, if someone has the desire to take the time to recreate it.”

      On that note (heh heh), a friend who made custom guitars for a while told me the difference between the old and new hand made stuff. The biggest factor is the finish which has a unique effect on the sound. Decades to 100’s of years ago the lacquer and staining process was vastly different. Partly because of the time required and partly because of the materials. Some of them just aren’t made any more due to environmental concerns. And yes, overall that is a good thing due to less cancer and it keeps the old stuff extra special.

  • avatar
    banjopanther

    Old guitars (and banjos) are everywhere, it’s not like it was played by Robert Johnson or something.

  • avatar
    Nick

    I’ve forgive Simon & Simon for driving what looked like a real E-Type off a cliff.

    On the upside, the Nash Bridges ‘Cuda convertible that got blown up was a 72-74 with the roof torched off and pasted on gills.

  • avatar
    VolandoBajo

    I was highly offended, to the point that I would complain about it to anyone who brought up early Bond movies, by the destruction of a BSA Lightning Rocket in Thunderball.

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