Gear of the Month 2012
April: Elvis Presley's 1975 Martin D-28
Shown here is Elvis Presley’s 1975 Martin D-28, serial number 369735. The guitar was used by Presley during his last three years of performing, including the King’s final concert at Market Square Arena in Indianapolis, Indiana, on June 26th, 1977. Presley passed away at his Graceland home just two months after that final show, but this D-28 didn’t surface until 1982 when it was discovered in an upstairs closet. In early 2011, the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, Arizona, acquired the D-28 from Elvis Presley Enterprises as part of the Elvis Presley exhibit that opened in August of last year. But there was a catch. The instrument was damaged in several spots, and EPE asked the MIM to restore the D-28 to its former glory. “It’s Elvis Presley’s guitar,” says Irene Peters, Head Conservationist at the MIM. “I removed myself from that just a little bit so I could actually focus on the work [laughs].” Peters didn’t just put new strings on the instrument and dust off the fretboard—she gave it a thorough going over.