Eric Clapton’s 1970s Dobro/Regal Resonator Custom

access_time First seen circa 1971

Eric used this guitar most famously during the MTV Unplugged show recorded in 1992. It can be heard on two of the slide tunes he played that night – “Running on Faith” and “Walkin’ Blues”. The guitar was ordered by Clapton as a custom build from Randy Wood and it was finished sometime in 1970 or 1971. Here’s what Randy remembers about it – quoted from an email that he was kind enough to send upon our inquiry.

I built that guitar using an old, I believe, regal body that I was able to modify by making a different neck, putting in a sound well, and installing a dobro spider and cone with a dobro cover plate which I engraved along with the tailpeice etc. Its been many years ago and I don’t remember all the details, however, this is essentially correct. Eric ordered the guitar on one of his trips to tape the Johnny Cash show. Also this instrument was made in, I think, 1970 or 71. [Randy Wood at randywoodguitars.com]

According to some sources, Clapton apparently gave an interview to Guitar Player saying he acquired the body from George Gruhn’s guitar shop and had Randy Wood fit a Martin neck on it and do custom inlays. We haven’t been able to track the original interview, so if you happen to stumble upon it, please be sure to get in contact by leaving a comment below.

[more info to be added]

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access_time 1992

1939 Martin 000-42

This is the guitar that Clapton played on MTV Unplugged on January 16, 1992. He played it throughout most of the show – which was highlighted by an acoustic version of “Layla”. Although there doesn’t seem to be any photos of Eric using the guitar prior to the 1992 show, it most possible that he acquired the 000-42 all the way back in 1970. This is according to an interview from 1976 […]

access_time 2004

Martin 000-ECHF Bellezza Nera

During the 2003 Japan Tour, Eric used a custom-made guitar, designed as a collaboration between him and Hiroshi Fujiwara – a Japanese musician and designer. The model styled a completely clean black finish, snowflake inlays, and both men’s initials (EC and HF) were inscribed near the bottom of the fretboard. Only eight of these guitars were initially manufactured, but around a year later, Martin released a production model based on […]

access_time 1988

1988 Guild Songbird Amber

Clapton was seen playing this guitar on the concert played at Shoreline Amphitheatre, San Francisco, USA, on September 21st, 1988. He used it for the song “Can’t Find My Way Home”, and both him and Mark Knopfler who joined him on stage, used the exact same model that night. [Clapton / Knopfler – Can’t Find My Way Home – YouTube] The guitar was one of the many that were auctioned by Clapton in 2011, […]

access_time 1970

Martin D-45

Eric was first seen with this guitar backstage at the dressing room of Lyceum Ballroom, London, on June 14th, 1970. This was the debut concert of his new band – Derek and the Dominos, but interestingly – the band had no official name prior to the gig. It was billed simply as “Eric Clapton and Friends”, but a discussion that ensued backstage prior to the gig led to a new name […]

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