Podcast 399: Michael Gurian & Dick Boak

On this week’s podcast, we’re joined by two instrument-making legends, Michael Gurian and Dick Boak. Gurian was of course the namesake founder of Gurian Guitars, while Boak famously worked at Martin Guitars for four decades.

Michael and Dick recently co-authored the Fretboard Journal‘s first standalone book, An Instrument Maker’s Guide to Insanity and Redemption (click here to order). It’s a compilation of off-beat and behind-the-scenes stories from dozens of instrument makers and repair people. Included are entries by George Gruhn, Kathy Wingert, Joe Glaser, Bob Taylor, Linda Manzer, and others.

During our chat, the duo talks about how the book project came together, the recurring themes found amidst these various luthiers’ tales, why instrument makers need to have a great sense of humor, and so much more.

In addition to talking about the book, we also hear about the instruments Michael and Dick are currently working on,  including the all-spruce guitar that Boak recently built. Michael shares stories from the old days of wood buying in New York City and tells us about how he just reunited with one of his old clients, Paul Simon.

It’s a great chat with two acoustic guitar innovators.

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Our podcast is sponsored by Retrofret Vintage Guitars; Deering Banjos; Peghead Nation (use the promo code FRETBOARD and get your first month free or $20 off any annual subscription); Izotope (use the coupon code FRET10 to save 10% off their plug-ins); and Stringjoy Strings.