I was 16 when I bought the Gretsch guitar. I had worked all summer cutting grass, delivering newspapers, and doing odd jobs when I could find one. You can imagine what that guitar meant to me. When our band became successful and we recorded our top ten hits back in the 60's, it was that same Gretsch guitar I used in the studio. We went out on tour for months at a time and that guitar was always by my side. One night it just disappeared from backstage and after a frantic search of the entire stadium, I suspected it had been stolen amd was long gone. I didn't give up that easy. I contacted every music store in the city and placed a personal add in a dozen big city newspapers around the world, hoping someone had seen the guitar. Eventually I gave up.
Many years later I happened to be relaxing and watching some music videos on TV. This was back in the 80's when music videos were first becoming mainstream. Suddenly, there on the screen was my beloved guitar, in the arms of someone else. Now, I know what your thinking. You think it was just a guitar LIKE mine, but no, it was the same unusual color, had the exact same scuff in the exact same place, and it was obviously an old model Gretsch. The band in the video was a very popular British group at the time, and I tried to contact them, though without success. It wasn't long after that when I heard they were coming on a tour of Canada, so I made arrangements to meet them backstage at one of their shows. When the big night arrived, I went back to meet the boys and to ask them how, where, and when they got my guitar. Unfortunately, they hadn't brought it on tour with them, being that it was rare, expensive, and dearly cherished by it's new owner. So, I left feeling a little disheartened at the prospect that I would never get it back.
This story doesn't have a happy ending. I still don't have my favourite guitar of all time. Heaven knows the legal costs of pursuing it, and who's to say it isn't now hidden somewhere, like perhaps the Tower of London?
- (paraphrased from an interview with Randy Bachman (Bachman-Turner Overdrive) on CBC's “Mansfield:One On One”)