Kurt Russell accidentally destroyed a priceless 1870 guitar on loan from the Martin Guitar Museum while filming The Hateful Eight and the company is not happy about it.
In the Quentin Tarantino film, Russell’s character, John Ruth, grabs a guitar from Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and smashes it. The genuine 145-year-old six-string was destroyed beyond repair and now the museum has released an official statement regarding the destruction of its property.
“We were informed that it was an accident on set,” stated Dick Boak, director of the museum, archives and special projects for C.F. Martin & Co. “We assumed that a scaffolding or something fell on it. We understand that things happen, but at the same time we can’t take this lightly. All this about the guitar being smashed being written into the script and that somebody just didn’t tell the actor, this is all new information to us. We didn’t know anything about the script or Kurt Russell not being told that it was a priceless, irreplaceable artifact from the Martin Museum.”
According to the film’s sound mixer Mark Ulano, a replica guitar was supposed to replace the original Martin before the scene. This apparently was not communicated to Russell who went ahead and smashed the expensive heirloom.
Boak stated that Martin would no longer be loaning guitars to movies. While the antique was insured for its purchased price it still upset the museum since it was so rare.
“We want to make sure that people know that the incident was very distressing to us,” Boak added. “We can’t believe that it happened. I don’t think anything can really remedy this. We’ve been remunerated for the insurance value, but it’s not about the money. It’s about the preservation of American musical history and heritage.”