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.
Ken Barr was a road-crew technician (folks these days don’t like the word Roadies because they are a lot more technical than a Roadie) for a lot of bands throughout his career. He started out in the NYC area clubs in 1978, and eventually landed a gig with Debbie Gibson in the early 1980’s when her first album was released. Ken has worked as a drum tech for Eric Singer of Kiss and Alice Cooper, then ultimately became Gene Simmons‘ bass tech, handling both Eric and Gene. He has worked with Air Supply, The Bangles, Alice Cooper, Stone Temple Pilots, and many other artists. In 2009, Ken decided to share his amazing stories in his book, We Are the Road Crew.
Perry Leandro is well known for being a violinist, but his musical career did not start out that way. He started playing guitar at a young age and was a student at Berklee School of Music., Perry even had a lesson with Barry Gordy. It wasn’t until Perry was in his 30’s when he discovered the violin. It has been a passion of his ever since. Perry is a violin and guitar teacher and offers lessons through his website, LearnBluesViolin.com
NYC and The Killer Blues Band
Perry’s passion is not only the violin, but the music of the Blues. Perry was a regular at the blues clubs throughout New York City and was asked by the owner of the Chicago B.L.U.E.S. Club if he could put a house band together, Perry soon put a band together with his violin in tow and called the band, The Killer Blues Band. The band was also the house band for BB King’s Blues Club on 42nd, also located in New York City. The Killer Blues Band have also released one album, The Mighty River.
Video interview with Perry Leandro
Perry Leandro’s version of “Summer Song” by Joe Satriani