Randy Bachchan reunited with beloved stolen guitar: ‘It’s a guitar, and it has a soul’ Globalnews.ca

canadian rock legend Randy Bachchan’s The long search ended on Friday when he was reunited in Tokyo with a cherished guitar 45 years after it was stolen from a Toronto hotel.

“My girlfriend is right there,” said 78-year-old Bachman, a former member of Joe the guess Who And Bachchan-Turner OverdriveThe Gretsch guitar on which he wrote “American Woman” and other hits was handed to him by a Japanese musician, who bought it in 2014 at a Tokyo store without knowing its history.

He said all guitars are special, but the orange 1957 Gretsch 6120 Chet Atkins he bought as a teenager was exceptional. He said he worked several jobs to save money to buy a $400 guitar, his first purchase of an expensive instrument.

“It made my whole life. It was my hammer and a tool to write songs, make music and earn money,” said Bachchan The Associated Press Before being handed over to the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo.

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When it was stolen from a Toronto hotel in 1977, “I cried for three days. It was part of me,” he said. “It was very, very disturbing.” He said that in unsuccessful attempts to replace it, he Bought about 300 guitars.

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Bachchan frequently spoke about the guitar’s missing in interviews and radio shows, and more recently on YouTube shows he performed with his son Taal.

In 2020, a Canadian fan who heard the guitar story began an Internet search and within two weeks successfully found it in Tokyo.

The fan, William Long, made use of a small spot in the wood grain of the guitar visible as a “digital fingerprint” in the old illustrations and tracked the instrument to a vintage guitar shop site in Tokyo. Another search led them to a YouTube video that featured an instrument being played by a Japanese musician, Takeshi, in December 2019.

After receiving the news from Long, Bachchan immediately contacted Takeshi, and recognized the guitar in a video chat they had.

“I was crying,” Bachchan said.

“The guitar almost talked to me on the video, like, ‘Hey, I’m coming home.

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Takeshi agreed to give it to Bachchan in exchange for the very same. So Bachchan searched for the guitar’s “sister” and found it – during the same week, with a close serial number, no modifications and no repairs.

“It was a miracle to find my guitar again, to find its twin sister was another miracle,” Bachchan said.

Canadian rock legend Randy Bachman retrieves his stolen Gretsch guitar during the Lost and Found guitar exchange ceremony at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo, Friday, July 1, 2022.

(AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

Takeshi said that he decided to return the guitar because as a guitar player he could imagine how much Bachchan missed it.

“I owned it and played it for only eight years and I am extremely sad to have it back now. But he has been feeling sad for 46 years, and it is time for someone else to be sad,” Takeshi said. Told.

“I’m sorry for this legend.”

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He said he loved returning the guitar to its rightful owner, but it may take time for him to fall in love with his new Gretsch as much as the guitar itself.

“It’s a guitar, and it has a soul. So even though it has the same shape, I can’t say for sure whether I can love a replacement the same way I loved it,” he said “There is no doubt that Randy thought of me and searched hard (for a replacement), so I would gradually develop an affection for it, but that may take time.”

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Bachchan said that he and Takeshi are now like brothers who have “twin sisters” with guitars. They are participating in a documentary about guitars, on which they plan to perform a song together, “Lost and Found”.

Read more: Randy Bachchan details unexpected origin of ‘American Woman’ song

She also sang several songs at Friday’s Handover, including “American Woman.”

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Bachchan said that he would lock the guitar in his house so that he would never lose it again. “I’ll never take it out of my house again,” he said.

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