Behind the Scenes: Blackwing 1

Posted by Grant Christensen – 09/26/2017

Well, this one has been in the works for a while. Guy Clark was on the short list of people we thought this program should honor from Day 1. In fact, getting more people to recognize Guy’s impact – and discover his music – was the type of thing the Volumes program was created to do.
Over the course of the next couple of weeks, we’ll be writing more about Guy and why his art inspires us. For the definitive story, I recommend Tamara Saviano’s recent book “Without Getting Killed or Caught: the Life and Music of Guy Clark”. Guy’s story is unparalleled and Tamara does a beautiful job of telling it. She and her husband, video engineer Paul Whitfield (all you need to know about this dude is that he works for The Boss… Yes, that one…), have been working on an in-depth documentary that will contain never before seen interviews and performances of Guy and his legendary cohorts. The video that accompanied this release was courtesy of Tamara and Paul. Y’all are the first to see it.
While Tamara and Guy’s son Travis were instrumental in helping us bring this to fruition, it all started with our buddy Brian Wright. Brian knew how much Guy loved pencils, so he took some Blackwings to him in Nashville after visiting our HQ a few years ago. Guy was blown away by the pencils, according to Tamara. He remarked that no pencil had ever felt so good in his hand. Unfortunately, Guy didn’t live to see Blackwing 1 come to life. After battling several health issues for over a decade, Guy died in May of last year.
We hope honoring Guy, not just with a limited edition pencil but with the definitive Vol. #1, will introduce more people to his work and his impact on music history. His debut album “Old No. 1” belongs in every record collection.  Don’t just take my word for it. AllMusic says, “Old No. 1 was unequaled in 1975 for the depth of its vision and the largeness of its artistic and empathetic heart; only Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run came close to it in terms of aesthetic merit.”
Like many pencils we’ve made in the past, this design took a while. We wanted a finish that would let some of the wood shine through. The more you learn about Guy, the more you’ll understand why. Subscribers will find three bonus items inside their shipment this time, including a patch and sticker designed by Dian Chen around the words “Stuff that Works”. If you want to know who Guy Clark is, that song is a great place to start.