Australia’s Love Of Guitars On Full Display in 2020

Maton Guitar logo By Chris Brown @ Wikimedia Commons

In June 2020 Australian businessman, Peter Freedman, founder of RØDE Microphones, made headlines around the world after he paid US$6 million at auction for the 1959 Martin D-18E guitar Kurt Cobain played during his 1993 MTV Unplugged Nirvana performance in New York. Now it’s Maton’s turn for the spotlight.

For skip forward just one month and Australia and guitars are in the news headlines again. This time it’s thanks to the Powerhouse Museum announcing it will be displaying the personal collection of 130 of Australian made Maton guitars between now and October 11th 2020 – Maton: Australia’s Guitar.


RØDE Microphones founder with Kurt Cobain’s guitar from MTV Unplugged performance



Powerhouse Museum Tweet about Maton: Australia’s Guitar


This is the largest retrospective of Australia’s leading guitar manufacturer, much loved by artists including Archie Roach, Neil Finn, Tommy Emmanuel, Mark Lizotte (aka Diesel), Missy Higgins, Keith Urban, Tash Sultana, Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age), Garry Beers (INXS), George Harrison (The Beatles) and Keith Richards (The Rolling Stones).


Tommy Emmanuel
Tommy Emmanuel performs at Soave Guitar Festival in 2010
WikiMedia Commons


Maton Guitars initially began making guitars in 1946 as a small backyard workshop in Melbourne. The founder Billy May was a Melbourne-born jazz musician, woodwork teacher and luthier. Since then Maton has created over 200 guitars model in Australian timbers such as Blackwood, bunya, Queensland Maple, Queensland Walnut and now Satin Box.

One of the highlights on display is The Easybeats’ guitarist Harry Vanda’s Maton guitar which he used to write the song ‘Friday on My Mind’. Also Tommy Emmamuel’s first Maton, a Maton electric Mastersound MS500M and hand painted case.


Maton guitar Easybeats ‘Friday On My Mind’ was written on – image Tweet by @RiotWyatt1


A fun fact? The entire collection of Maton guitars, ukuleles, lap steels and amplifiers are part of the personal collection of Bankstown-based instrument collector Wadih Hanna. Hats off to Hanna for sharing it with us via the Powerhouse Museum.

Archie Roach playing his Maton guitar By Nichollas Harrison @ WikiMedia Commons

Head to the Powerhouse Museum site for more details on Maton: Australia’s Guitar.


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