In 1992 Richard Starkey went to work for Martin, at first becoming a "utility" person, which means he filled in wherever necessary. This kind of moving around gave Starkey the leg up and knowledge that few people get. He has helped with construction, repair, and research and development, including the design of a special guitar inspired by one of his heroes, musician Clarence White.
He owns the second Martin D-18 Clarence White guitar ever made. He has even become the company's historian, and he leads tours. He continues to field calls and letters from people wanting to learn more about their Martin guitars. He's also been in the company of many greats, from Willie Nelson to Porter Wagoner to Del McCoury and Arlo Guthrie, who spent a few hours with Starkey and his wife in his Franklin home. One time Steve Miller drove up in his tour bus to their house to get Starkey to work on his guitar.