Gordon Lightfoot D-18GL Limited Edition Pays Tribute to Edmund Fitzgerald
Source: Sounding Board Newsletter Vol 9 - July 2000
D-18GL (Gordon Lightfoot)
For nearly 40 years, Gordon Lightfoot has been the musician’s musician. Few can match his success as a songwriter, recording artist and performer. The gentle grace and power of his music has influenced the likes of Dan Fogelberg, Sarah McLachlan, Tony Rice and Jimmy Buffett, yet Lightfoot remains a true original.
A professional singer in his native Canada while still in his teens, Lightfoot first gained fame in the early 1960s as a songwriter. By 1966, he had penned hit songs for Peter, Paul and Mary, Ian and Sylvia and Marty Robbins.
Beginning with his first album in 1966, he quickly developed into a major artist, writing and recording several hit singles, among them "Early Morning Rain," "Beautiful," "If You Could Read My Mind," "Sundown," "Rainy Day People," and "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald."
Over the years, Lightfoot has garnered three Platinum and nine Gold records, five Grammy nominations and seventeen Juno (Canada’s Grammy) awards. He was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1986, and in 1997 received the Governor General’s Arts Award, Canada’s highest creative arts honor. Lightfoot continues to be a major musical force and concert draw. Last year he released Songbook, a four-CD set of greatest hits and rarities and this year taped a live concert special which is scheduled to air on PBS.
Throughout his long career, Martin guitars have been among Lightfoot’s favorite instruments. Martins grace several of his album covers, and he often plays a D-18 in concert.
In recognition of his musical achievements and his enduring appreciation for Martin guitars, the Martin Guitar Company is pleased to announce the D-18GL Gordon Lightfoot Limited Edition Signature model. Up to but not exceeding 61 of the D-18GL will be made. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of these instruments will fund The Gordon Lightfoot Scholarship Fund at Great Lakes Maritime Academy (part of Northwestern Michigan College), home to the only officer training program for fresh water maritime ships in the United States. Lightfoot established the fund in 1976 to help prevent shipping disasters like the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald, which inspired one of his most memorable songs.
The D-18GL features spectacular premium tonewoods throughout. The top is made from solid, bookmatched Engelmann spruce, renowned for rich, vintage tone. Hand-scalloped X-braces, forward shifted to 1 inch from the soundhole, enhance the instrument’s deep, full sound. The two-piece back and sides are solid genuine quilted mahogany. Among the world’s rarest and most beautiful woods, quilted mahogany provides uncommon string-to-string balance and definition.
Traditional Style 18 tortoise-colored bindings protect the body’s top and back edges. The top showcases 5-ply black/white Style 18 purfling and a beautiful "heart" abalone pearl rosette. Vintage toner on the top, a polished, high gloss lacquer finish, and a polished and beveled tortoise-colored pickguard enhance the instrument’s vintage look.
Vintage elements also complement the D-18GL’s low-profile genuine mahogany neck. The East Indian rosewood overlay on the solid squared and tapered headstock is topped by Martin’s "old style" gold decal logo and Gotoh "Kluson-style" chrome tuners. The unbound black African ebony fingerboard features abalone dot position inlays. A profile silhouette of the Edmund Fitzgerald graces the 12th fret. Gordon Lightfoot’s signature is inlaid between the 19th and 20th frets.
The bridge is crafted from black African ebony, matched by abalone-inlaid ebony bridge pins and an ebony endpin. Both the nut and compensated saddle are genuine bone.
The D-18GL bears an interior label, numbered in sequence with the edition total (i.e., 1 of 61, 2 of 61, etc.), personally signed by Gordon Lightfoot and Martin Chairman and CEO, C.F. Martin IV. Each instrument comes with a deluxe Geib style® hardshell case. A left-hand version of the D-18GL may be ordered at no additional cost; the model also may be ordered with a vintage dark sunburst top and/or electronic sound reinforcement for an additional charge.
Martin dealers will begin taking orders for the D-18GL Gordon Lightfoot Limited Edition Signature model immediately. The D-18GL should begin arriving in stores in early 2001.