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Dick Boak- Martin Guitars

Meeting C.F. Martin III and New Career

Dick Boak started at Martin Guitars in 1976, and is well known in the guitar world. Before Dick began at Martin, he had been going through their dumpsters looking for scrap wood to make his own guitars.  After some time, the folks at Martin saw his work and eventually, owner C. F. Martin III, saw his work and was so impressed, he told one of his employees to have him apply for a job. Dick was soon hired as a design draftsman. Throughout his career, he has held many diverse positions, but his favorite was leading the formation of Martin’s Artist Relations Department, and the conception of more than 100 signature guitar collaborations, with artists such as; Eric Clapton, Mark Knophler, Paul Simon, Steve Miller, and many others.

Eric Clapton and the 000-42EC Model

After getting phone calls about the guitar that Eric Clapton used for the MTV Unplugged show, he was permitted to contact Eric about Martin issuing a limited edition Eric Clapton model. Eric loved the idea and the final version was based on the guitars he used for the Unplugged concert. Martin made 461 copies of the Eric Clapton 000-42EC model and was sold out immediately upon release.  Dick has worked with Eric on several models over the years. He was so grateful to Eric on the attention he brought to acoustic guitars and Martin, that he wrote a personal letter about him that was published in Acoustic Guitar magazine.

Mario Andretti and Other Interests

After 42 years with the company, Dick retired in 2018.  His retirement party is a dream to some folks – the party was held at the State Theater in Easton Pennsylvania, and was called Boak’s Bash (see the video below), featuring Steve Miller, John Mayer, David Bromberg, and many others. Dick spends his time working on his illustrations and music.  He was also asked by his neighbor, Mario Andretti, if he could assist in helping with putting his racing archive together.

Part One of a Two Part Story

Video interview with Dick Boak (Part 1)

Dick Boak’s Retirement Party with Steve Miller

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