Local Craftsman Chris Alvarado Building 50th Anniversary Woodstock Guitar
July 8, 2019 by SoWal Staff
Chris Alvarado, Owner & Founder of Driftwood Guitars, has a new project to build a one-of-a-kind guitar in honor of the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock music festival. The neck of the guitar will be crafted out of wood from the historic Woodstock stage. Alvarado will be breathing new life into the stage wood from many years ago, adding to the musical heritage and legacy of Woodstock.
The unique guitar will be the only one of its kind in the world, as no other instrument is being constructed from the actual stage wood from the festival. A few months ago, Alvarado conducted some research and located a company, Peace of Stage, in New York, that owned the wood from the original Woodstock stage. Alvarado then reached out to one of the company’s partners, Steve Gold, to inquire about the wood. Gold shared his personal connection to the wood and that it had been authenticated to be the very wood that icons and legends performed on at the festival. A business friendship and comradery were formed and Gold, along with his partners, agreed to send Alvarado some of the wood to build a once in a lifetime instrument in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the iconic event in history.
The stage was only 8,000 square feet, not overly large by outdoor concert or festival standards. It took several weeks for local craftsmen to construct. But on those 8,000 square feet proudly stood rock royalty and now it serves as a glorious, lasting symbol of an entire generation. This custom, one-of-a-kind guitar will also do just that, as well as breathe life and music into a new generation, while still paying homage to the past and the historical significance of Woodstock.
“I am extremely excited and humbled to build this guitar, literally, from a piece of history,” says Alvarado, Luthier, Owner & Founder, Driftwood Guitars. “Having secured the wood from Peace of Stage along with having their support, has been amazing. It is truly inspiring to build a guitar that honors the iconic Woodstock festival of August of 1969, as well as use pieces of the stage from the actual event. It will be the only instrument of its kind in the world.”
The expected completion of the instrument will be November 2019. The guitar is currently being pitched to various music and history museums for residency and display over the course of several months. Upon final confirmations, dates of installation and viewing will be released to the public. Alvarado is also working with Calton Cases on a custom case built specifically to accompany this guitar.
"When I rediscovered the original stage from the 1969 Woodstock Festival, I felt its magic immediately and wanted to share it with as many fans as possible," says Steve Gold, co-founder Peace of Stage, www.peaceofstage.com. “When Chris Alvarado approached us with his idea to handcraft a guitar from the actual stage panels, we were thrilled. His work shows true appreciation of the materials he uses, and this guitar is an outstanding tribute to the performers and a unique way to introduce their music and Woodstock's legacy to future generations."
Peace of Stage is also offering a selection of commemorative pieces for purchase through www.peaceofstage.com.
To learn more about Driftwood Guitars, or to commission a piece, visit www.Driftwood-Guitars.com or call 850.420.2892. You can also find them on Facebook at Driftwood Guitars and Instagram @driftwoodguitars.
Driven by a passion to create one of a kind works of art, Chris Alvarado pours his heart and soul into every instrument he makes. Since founding Driftwood Guitars in 2007, he has been handcrafting guitars that pay tribute to the craftsman of the past, while keeping an eye toward the future of building innovations. Alvarado makes it his goal to get to know every customer that commissions a piece, to build a truly custom instrument; one that not only looks like the guitar they have been dreaming of, but one that feels and sounds far greater than the guitar of their dreams. He helps to guide every client through the build process and encourages feedback while including the customer in every step of the build process. Driftwood Guitars is based out of Freeport, Florida and has created pieces for clients throughout the country.
Peace of Stage owns the original and authenticated stage from the 1969 Woodstock Festival. The stage pieces, which were rediscovered in 2017, are featured in a gallery of Collectibles that pay tribute to the performers and festival-goers and give fans the chance to experience the concert’s magic. The items with a genuine piece of the stage include a Letter of Authenticity and tamper-proof holograms. Peace of Stage launched the Stardust for Peace campaign to support social causes that bridge the generations. The Stardust for Peace glass bottles contain original stage sawdust and the sale of each bottle will benefit each of five charities with a $3 contribution. View the Collectibles at www.peaceofstage.com.
Photos by Naomi Alvarado & Shelly Swanger