Archive for the ‘Trigger’ Category


Saturday, October 4th, 2014


Willie Nelson’s Trigger

Sunday, August 3rd, 2014

Another amazing video by Andrew Shapter and his team.

Take a Tour of Trigger’s Birth Place: C. F. Martin & Company

Sunday, August 3rd, 2014

By Ann Witmer

For 175 years a small factory in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, has been turning out acoustic guitars, guitars so good that even Eric Clapton plays one.

If you take C. F. Martin & Co.‘s free one-hour tour, you’ll learn more about guitars — the wood, the bracing, the frets, the strings and the sound – than you could ever imagine. Plus, if you’re a player, you can try some out.

Tours — first come, first served — leave the Visitor Center in groups of 15 at regular intervals from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

And if you want to make it a weekend, consider booking the Martin Suite at the historic Hotel Bethlehem, 15 miles south of Nazareth. At your request, a bellman will deliver a D-40 Martin guitar to the suite for you to use during your stay. You can strum to your hearts content amidst photographs of other Martin guitar players like Clapton, Paul McCartney, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash that line the walls of the suite.

If you go:

C. F. Martin & Co., Inc.
510 Sycamore Street
Nazareth, PA



To read the entire article, and see more photos, go HERE.

On the day I arrived, Skip Beltz pulled our group together after a short wait and handed out audio gizmos so we could hear him clearly as we walked the sometimes noisy factory floor.  Beltz, now director of product management, was manager of manufacturing here for 21 years. He knew everything there is to know about making a guitar and the skilled workers who make them.

200 guitars a day

They turn out 200 guitars a day here using a blend of old craftsmanship and modern technology. The company employs nearly 600 people in Nazareth and another 400 in Mexico where the strings and more affordable guitars are made.


Sunday, August 3rd, 2014


Saturday, June 21st, 2014


photo:  Andrew Shapter

Willie Nelson’s guitar featured in Acoustic Guitar Magazine (July 2014)

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014


“The July issue of Acoustic Guitar Magazine features this cool close up photo that I took of Willie Nelson’s guitar.” — Jay Blakesberg,

Jay Blakesberg Photograpy


Thursday, May 15th, 2014



Monday, April 28th, 2014


Thank you Phil Weisman, for this great photo of Trigger in the studio, resting.

the calm before the show: waiting for Willie Nelson and Family

Saturday, April 5th, 2014


Thank you to Margret Kentgens-Craig for sharing her great still life photo of the stage.


Saturday, March 22nd, 2014


another amazing photo by Jay Blakesberg


Saturday, March 15th, 2014


photo:  Jay Blakesberg

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014


Willie Nelson’s guitar “Trigger” featured in Cake Boss TV Show

Tuesday, December 24th, 2013

TLC’s hit series Cake  Boss returns to Monday nights at 9pm starting December 30, and the season  kicks off on a high note when Buddy and the Carlo’s Bakery team are asked to  make a cake for Willie Nelson’s  80th Birthday. Get a sneak peek below!

In the episode, airing at 9:30pm that evening, Buddy creates a replica of the  legendary musician’s beloved guitar, “Trigger.” The carefully constructed cake  is layered with fudge filling and every munchy imaginable – including chips,  pretzels, and popcorn, and then delivered to the artist at a special concert at  the Hard  Rock Cafe in Times Square, NYC. But, Buddy is in a tough jam when he  realizes he has to pick between two different events that night – will he chose  to honor his wife, or Willie? (sneak peek and photos below)

The winter season of Cake  Boss features even more crazy confections, including a 14-foot, 800-pound  alligator cake, a one-of-a-kind samurai cake, and a special wedding cake for  NEXT GREAT BAKER winner and bakery employee Ashley Holt. The entire Valastro  family also rallies around Momma Mary, who continues to battle her ALS diagnosis  with new treatment options. A sneak peek at the season can be previewed at

Buddy is also featured in the new series BAKERY BOSS, where he helps  transform struggling family-run bakeries across the country, airing Mondays at  10pm starting December 30. That evening, TLC sets up the perfect New Year’s treat with Cake  Boss Kickoff LIVE, featuring Buddy live on-air from 8-11pm with the,  offering the audience the chance to Watch-and-Win special prizes and engage  directly with the “Boss” himself on the network’s digital and social platforms – and @TLC. The night will also be the  launch of weekly live tweet commentary from @CakeBossBuddy around the new  episodes, giving behind the scenes details and more

Read more about VIDEO: Sneak Peek – Willie Nelson to Be Featured on All-New Episode of TLC’s CAKE BOSS – BWWTVWorld by

Willie Nelson’s guitar featured in “108 Rock Star Guitars”

Monday, December 9th, 2013

photo:  Lisa Johnson
by: Kiley Armstrong

Willie Nelson’s Trigger, named for movie-cowboy Roy Rogers’ horse, bears dozens of autographs, including Leon Russell, Roger Miller, Kris Kristofferson, Gene Autry, Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash. Trigger’s top is worn clear through; Nelson chooses to leave it that way.

“The two of them,” notes the book, “continue to mature together.”


“108 Rock Star Guitars” features Trigger, Willie Nelson’s Guitar (by Lisa S. Johnson)

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

Rock Star Guitars
photo:  Lisa S. Johnson

Sometimes, a picture is worth a thousand songs.

The supersized book “108 Rock Star Guitars” (Glitterati Inc.) demonstrates that six-stringed instruments owned by celebrities and virtuoso sidemen can look as good as they rock.

The 17-year undertaking by photographer Lisa S. Johnson partly benefits the Les Paul Foundation. Paul, the Rock Hall musician-inventor, wrote the foreword before he died.

Not a guitar geek? Don’t fret.

Whether you define “pickup” as a truck, a dating technique or a guitar part, you can revel in the glitz-and-grit world where these prized possessions reside.

The instruments (one’s named Baby) evoke tender talk from macho musicians. But some of these battle-ax beauties have seen more action than a roller derby queen: They bear the gashes and sweat stains to prove it.

The author, who grew up in a musical family, underscores musicians’ emotional attachment to their instruments.

“I don’t believe any serious musician feels that his instrument is an inanimate object,” Tom Scholz of the group Boston tells Johnson.

Steve Vai, who went solo after playing with Frank Zappa’s band, once described his guitar as “the voice of my heart” in moments of depression, euphoria and “divine love. … I have cried, screamed, prayed and bled through that instrument.”

The book lauds the instrument-makers, called luthiers, and the techs, along with the guitars.

Pawnshop wallflowers blossom into unbridled stardom. There are kaleidoscopic, patriotic and wildcat patterns; gorgeous maple and mahogany; delicate carvings of leaves and acorns; a stuck-on Chinese cookie fortune; python skin; fake fur; little-girl superheroes.

Some seem to revel in musical masochism:

_ Zakk Wylde (Ozzy Osbourne Band) _ blowtorch burns, hammered-on bottle caps.

_ Slash (Velvet Revolver, Guns N’ Roses) _ cigarette carelessness. As the story goes, the guitarist was “one with the music” while accidentally inflicting a “charred reminder of rock `n’ roll nirvana.”

John Rzeznik (Goo Goo Dolls) resurrected a broken Stratocaster into a 4-string. The word “OUCH!” is splayed over its torso; it’s now named Halfcaster.

“I was amazed when I threw the guitar in the air and the top portion split right off,” Rzeznik recalled via email. “I had my guitar tech take it to a luthier in LA who sanded off the rough edges and fixed the electronics.

“I used it on a song called `Big Machine’ for a couple years after that. Surprisingly, the tone didn’t really change; it was a cheap guitar that didn’t sound that great to begin with. Haha!”

The appreciation of instruments as visual art is an age-old concept.

They “may evoke status, identity, or indicate events _ sacred or profane,” comments J. Kenneth Moore, the Frederick P. Rose curator in charge of the Department of Musical Instruments at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. “They become sounding, tangible works of art _ telling many stories of the life and times of those who used them,” he said.

A guitar owned by James J.Y. Young of Styx bears an elaborate carving of Cerberus, ancient mythology’s three-headed Underworld guard dog.

A double-neck owned by Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen has a quirky folk art feel. Its two-pronged top forms the legs of Nielsen’s upside-down caricature. The figure, named Uncle Dick, displays a thumbs-up, but his expression looks maniacal.

When Mom made young Nils Lofgren a Nehru jacket and bell-bottom pants out of drapes, he proudly stuck leftover fabric on his guitar so it matched his new suit.

The book also features a famous, battered Fender Esquire owned by Lofgren’s boss, Bruce Springsteen.

Before a Rage Against the Machine performance, Tom Morello scrawled “Arm the Homeless” on his guitar.

The jarring jargon co-exists with Morello’s drawings of happy hippos. Like most art, it invites interpretation. In Johnson’s view, he’s contrasting the have-nots and the haves (rotund creatures “gobbling their food”).

Willie Nelson’s Trigger, named for movie-cowboy Roy Rogers’ horse, bears dozens of autographs, including Leon Russell, Roger Miller, Kris Kristofferson, Gene Autry, Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash. Trigger’s top is worn clear through; Nelson chooses to leave it that way.

“The two of them,” notes the book, “continue to mature together.”

Life partners in perfect harmony.

_ About the book:

_ Les Paul Foundation: