Randy Bachman’s treasured Gretsch guitar was stolen 45 years ago. An internet sleuth helped the rock star find it

Bachman, of The Think Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive popularity, stated he was heartbroken when the 1957 Gretsch 6120 Chet Atkins guitar was taken from a Toronto hotel in 1976.

“Part of me was lost,” the 78-year-old informed CNN, comparing the theft to the death of a household animal.

The orange Gretsch, like the ones played by his idols Chet Atkins and Duane Eddy, was the very first actually pricey guitar he owned and he needed to work hard as an 18-year-old to make the $400 he required to purchase it.

“So I have a paper route where you make, like, two bucks a week delivering the paper, you mow a lawn for a dollar, you babysit someone, you get a dollar, you’re working at a car wash and you’d get 50 cents an hour. This is way, way back,” he stated. “So to save the 400 bucks was a big, big, big deal.”

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Bachman stated he utilized to have a 12-foot-long tow chain that he would utilize to lock the guitar to something protected if he needed to leave it when he was on trip, however on that day, the band’s roadway supervisor wasn’t as mindful.

He called the Ontario Cops and the Royal Canadian Installed Cops to submit reports, however they informed him he’d most likely never ever see the guitar once again.

Bachman stated he’s informed the story lot of times throughout the years on his radio program and on the YouTube channel he began throughout the Covid-19 pandemic with his kid, Tal Bachman, who had the 1990s hit “She’s So High.”

A ‘real-life puzzle’

Fan William Long encountered the video after listening to some The Think Who tunes on YouTube and chose to participate the search.

Long investigates the notorious D.B. Cooper skyjacking case in his extra time and was searching for something various to do in 2015 when he was primarily stuck within due to the fact that of the pandemic.
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“My wife does jigsaw puzzles on the internet, and I thought, ‘I prefer to do real-life puzzles,'” Long stated.

He carried out fancy web searches to discover pictures of every orange Gretsch he might discover and compared them to a video of Bachman playing the tune “Lookin’ Out For #1” on Dutch tv with Bachman-Turner Overdrive.
A close up of Randy Bachman's guitar shows a dime-sized ring near the knob he's adjusting.

Long stated Bachman’s guitar had some some unique patterns in its wood grain, which he had the ability to boost on his computer system.

He searched the web for old sale listings and other sources in The United States and Canada, Australia, the UK and Germany prior to he lastly discovered a hint.

“I probably went through maybe 300 Gretsch images and I got pretty good at it so I could see them and I could know right away that it wasn’t it,” he stated. “So it’s eliminate, eliminate, eliminate, eliminate.”

He tracked the guitar to a Tokyo vintage guitar store, which had actually offered it, and after that had the ability to discover a video of Japanese artist Takeshi playing Christmas tunes on the guitar.

“You can clearly see (that) all the grain and the marks and the fading on the guitar matches 100%,” Long stated.

He invested 2 or 3 weeks searching for the guitar, primarily after work while viewing television, and after that he needed to get the info to Bachman.

Long lives in White Rock, British Columbia, not far from where Bachman when lived, however he didn’t understand how to reach the rock star.

He stated Bachman was surprised when he lastly reached him.

“I see the guy playing my guitar, MY guitar, I can tell by the grain on it and I’m stunned. It’s like somebody hit me in the face with a shovel,” Bachman stated. “It’s just unbelievable, because I’ve been searching for this forever and basically gave up on it.”

Bachman stated his daughter-in-law, KoKo, is from Japan and had the ability to set up a Zoom call with Takeshi and equate the conference.

The same small ring is visible in this 2019 video of TAKESHI playing the guitar.
He stated he was tearful when Takeshi, who he referred to as the Japanese Brian Setzer, revealed him the guitar on electronic camera after all these years.

He stated whoever took it took great care of it, due to the fact that it looked the like it did back in 1976.

Bachman described that he’d composed a lot of his most significant hits on the taken guitar which “It is a very incredible, one-of-a-kind guitar that is part of me.”

“And he says, ‘Well, I didn’t steal it,’ and I said, ‘Of course, you weren’t even born when this thing was stolen, but you have it,'” Bachman stated. “And he said, ‘Well, maybe I was born to look after your guitar.'”

Bachman stated Takeshi provided to return the guitar in exchange for one similar to it.

“I’ll give you the guitar, but you must find its sister,” Bachman stated Takeshi informing him.

Just a handful of guitars like this were made and they’re costly, so discovering one in near-mint condition was going to be another obstacle.

However Bachman had actually constructed relationships with guitar dealerships around The United States and Canada throughout his mission to recover the guitar. He’d likewise accumulated a collection of more than 350 Gretsch guitars throughout the years that he offered to the Gretsch household’s structure in 2008 for their museum.

‘It talked to me like no other guitar’

A guitar store in Ohio had what Bachman required, and based upon the identification numbers, the 2 guitars were most likely made in the exact same week, he stated.

“When I first strummed this guitar at the music shop in Tokyo, it spoke to me like no other guitar I’ve ever played. I knew and felt it was destiny — I immediately and impulsively purchased it,” Takeshi stated in a declaration that was equated by KoKo.

He stated the guitar’s connection to Bachman made it a lot more unique.

“Every time I think about how this guitar has impacted and influenced Rock N Roll music that inspired me and other rockers in my generation, I get so excited,” the declaration stated. “I’m so honoured and proud to be the one who can finally return this stolen guitar to its owner, the rock star, Mr. Bachman who was searching for it for nearly half a century and I feel very grateful for this miracle happening in both our lives.”

Now they simply require to make the swap.

Bachman stated he’s preparing to take a trip to Japan to satisfy Takeshi and exchange the guitars once the nation relieves its Covid-19 limitations.

They likewise wish to jam together at the bar where Takeshi shot the video that resulted in the guitar’s discovery — they’ll play “Takin’ Care of Business” and Bachman stated he’s going to discover among Takeshi’s tunes.

“This guy is my guitar brother. Takeshi is my brother,” Bachman stated. “I can’t even talk to him because he’s Japanese, he doesn’t understand me, but when we play the guitar together on Zoom, there’s this connection.”

Bachman stated they have actually been gathering video footage throughout the experience in the hope of turning it into a documentary. He composed a tune about his lost guitar while dealing with a brand-new Bachman & Bachman album with his kid, and he stated it will most likely go on the soundtrack.

“To me, it’s the most incredible Cinderella story of all time, except that when midnight comes the guitar won’t turn into a pumpkin, and neither will I, and I’ll actually have my guitar back at the end of the story,” Bachman stated.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.