"Willie Nelson and His Famous Guitar: The Tale of Trigger" Rolling Stone Short Documentary [YouTube Video]

Francesco Marano

by Francesco Marano

Published February 12, 2015

Guitars have a unique place in the history of music. Not only are they instruments, but they are living things with a history of their own.

B.B. King's "Lucille," Eddie Van Halen's "Frankenstrat," and Neil Young's "Old Black" are some of the famous guitars that come to mind. Rolling Stone has recently produced a 12-minute documentary about Willie Nelson and his Martin N-20 acoustic named "Trigger," narrated by Woody Harrelson. Watch above on YouTube.

Named after cowboy actor Roy Rogers' horse, Trigger was purchased by Willie in 1969 after his previous guitar had been destroyed. At the time, Willie was striving for the same sound as the jazz great Django Reinhardt. In the same year, a fire broke out at Willie's Nashville home, forcing him to save his guitar and pound of weed that was inside.

Willie took the fire as a sign to leave Nashville and return to Austin, Texas. There, he found a scene full of musicians that were "outside of the norm." This led to him reinventing himself and creating a whole new style of how country music was played. Nelson amplified Trigger with a pickup, which no one had done before to an acoustic.

The 1975 album Red Headed Stranger showcases this guitar's sound, and changed Willie's life. As time has gone on, Trigger has developed various "scars" including the famously large hole in the front, which is part of what gives the guitar its unique character today.

Musician Jerry Jeff Walker, Mark Erlewine (Trigger's doctor), and Willie share stories about the guitar while live performance clips are included. The video is an interesting look behind a guitar that tells the story and serves as a timeline for one of music's most influential musicians.

For Willie Nelson's latest music, news, and tour dates, check out his Zumic artist page.


Source: Rolling Stone YouTube

Willie Nelson
Americana Classic Country Country
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