A World Class Collaboration Between Eric Clapton and Hiroshi Fujiwara
Imagine a guitar cooperatively conceived by a British musical icon and a Japanese trendsetter, built by America’s most respected guitar company and affectionately given an Italian name. Now stop imagining and start anticipating the new Martin Eric Clapton/Hiroshi Fujiwara Bellezza Nera, among the most stunning looking and sounding limited editions in Martin history.
Production was limited to only 476 Guitars!
A legendary musician and performer for more than 40 years, Eric Clapton needs no introduction. Hiroshi Fujiwara stands as one of modern Japan’s most important cultural figures, a visionary DJ responsible for creating and introducing cutting-edge “club” music and fashions to Tokyo in the 1990s. The two became friends while working together on music projects.
During one of Clapton’s visits to Japan, he and Fujiwara began envisioning a custom acoustic guitar that blended the best in design and sound. Over time, the ideas were fleshed out and, with Martin’s Dick Boak facilitating the project, C.F. Martin built 8 of these unique custom guitars. One can be seen on the cover of Clapton’s recent album dedicated to the music of blues great Robert Johnson, “Me & Mr. Johnson,” while another appears on the cover of Dick Boak’s recent book, “Martin Guitar Masterpieces.” The completed guitars were so breathtaking that Eric, Hiroshi and Martin agreed to collaborate on a limited edition version for the public.
Black with pearl inlays, both men’s initials (EC and HF) are inscribed near the bottom of the fretboard. Eight of these guitars were initially manufactured. In July 2004, Martin announced it would offer a limited edition of this guitar to the public beginning in January 2005. The guitars were designated 000-ECHF Bellezza Nera as named by Eric Clapton (from the Italian: “bellezza” meaning beautiful and “nera” meaning black). The only difference between the custom guitars and the guitars in the limited edition is that it has “Bellezza Nera” in pearl inlay rather than the two men’s initials. It was the fourth limited edition and the fifth in a suite of Eric Clapton signature models sold to the public by C.F. Martin & Company. A total of 476 guitars were produced.
Within the Bellezza Vera’s handsome appointments lies a tone monster, crafted in the Martin tradition. Premium Solid tonewoods are featured throughout. The top is solid Engelmann Spruce, revered for its rich, powerful tone. The back and sides are crafted from solid Pacific Big Leaf Flame Maple.