The Martin Guitar Museum loaned Quentin Tarantino an extremely rare and valuable guitar for the filming of The Hateful Eight. The only problem? It was returned in pieces after actor Kurt Russell accidently smashed the thing to smithereens.
According to Reverb.com, museum director Dick Boak originally assumed that the destruction of the 145-year old instrument was purely accidental. Turns it was completely on purpose, except no one told Russell that the guitar wasn’t a replica prop.
“We were informed that it was an accident on set,” Boak said. “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.”
A double for the guitar was made, and was supposed to be the one that Russel’s character John Ruth destroys after snatching it out of the hands of Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh). For some reason, Russell was never made aware of the situation and smashed the real thing, meaning the look of horror on Leigh’s face was genuine.
“As a result of the incident, the company will no longer loan guitars to movies under any circumstances.” Boak said.
To make matters worse, the guitar was only insured for its purchase price — an amount that does not reflect the true value of the instrument as an historic and irreplaceable piece of music history. The museum requested that the damaged guitar be sent back to them, in order to attempt a repair. However, the priceless artifact was deemed a write-off.
“Upon inspection of the pieces, we realized that the guitar was beyond fixing,” Boak said. “It’s destroyed.”