Lost Guitar Quests


Randy Bachman has spoken of his orange 1957 Gretsch 6120 many times wistfully, his first. Bought with the money he earned as a paperboy and used to compose BTO's epic hit "Taking Care Of Business" among others. He used to chain it up to the toilets in his hotel rooms when BTO was on the road, he was so paranoid of someone stealing it. I get it. It was beloved. Sacred. But it took just one time, the roadies weren't looking and someone yoinked it. Smash cut to 45 years later, when a fan heard him lamenting it's loss, and took it upon himself to track the rare guitar down. Using the internet and the serial numbers of all existing Gretsh's, somehow they found it in a social media post by a Japanese guitarist in Tokyo. Takeshi found Randy's guitar in a shop in Japan, so had nothing to do with it's disappearance, but was happy to give it back. It was a whole thing. Seeing that miraculous happy ending, this week, Robbie Krieger released a video with a quest for his stolen red Gibson SG special. The one he used to audition for the Doors. The guitar quests were part of a CBS Morning News segment today and reminded me of my own lost guitar. As a teenager, I used to play my dad's vintage Gibson Sunburst acoustic, while teaching myself chords. In fact, I left a worn spot on the body of the guitar where my pick roughed up the surface of his beloved instrument. He didn't yell at me, instead, got me my own: 16 string Fender Villager. She still lives with me today. But his guitar has a dark ending. He sent it to a shop to repair the damage I inadvertently inflicted. It came back good as new, and I realize how reverential he was handling it and learned a lesson. Every Saturday morning he would play songs from his green binder of music, songs he and his side hustle The Mach Fours would play at gigs. I loved those Saturday mornings, and it's probably what bonded me to rock n roll. But when he died, someone broke into my father's house before the family could get to it and stole that wonderful iconic guitar. It's always been a pang in my heart. And that's why Randy Bachman and Robbie Krieger's stories resonated with me. As for my own guitar quest, I don't have it's vital statistics, no date that it was crafted, only the picture in my dad's hands, he's the guy in the blue shirt. So, I throw it out there to the universe, if the guitar is ever meant to return to it's family, the fingers who strained to hold new chords, the careless strumming that scarred it's body, know I'm here. Waiting. On Wheels.