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TOKYO: Canadian rock legend Randy Bachman’s lengthy search got here to an finish Friday when he was reunited in Tokyo with a cherished guitar 45 years after it was stolen from a Toronto lodge.
“My girlfriend is correct there,” mentioned Bachman, 78, a former member of The Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive, because the Gretsch guitar on which he wrote “American Lady” and different hits was handed to him by a Japanese musician who had purchased it at a Tokyo retailer in 2014 with out understanding its historical past.
He mentioned all guitars are particular, however the orange 1957 Gretsch 6120 Chet Atkins he purchased as a young person was distinctive. He labored at a number of jobs to economize to purchase the $400 guitar, his first buy of an costly instrument, he mentioned.
“It made my entire life. It was my hammer and a instrument to jot down songs, make music and earn cash,” Bachman instructed AP earlier than the handover on the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo.
When it was stolen from the Toronto lodge in 1977, “I cried for 3 days. It was a part of me,” he mentioned. “It was very, very upsetting.” He ended up shopping for about 300 guitars in unsuccessful makes an attempt to interchange it, he mentioned.
Bachman talked ceaselessly in regards to the lacking guitar in interviews and on radio reveals, and extra just lately on YouTube packages on which he carried out along with his son, Tal.
In 2020, a Canadian fan who heard the story of the guitar launched an Web search and efficiently situated it in Tokyo inside two weeks.
The fan, William Lengthy, used a small spot within the guitar’s wooden grain seen in previous pictures as a “digital fingerprint” and tracked the instrument all the way down to a classic guitar store website in Tokyo. An additional search led him to a YouTube video displaying the instrument being performed by a Japanese musician, TAKESHI, in December 2019.
After receiving the information from Lengthy, Bachman contacted TAKESHI instantly, and acknowledged the guitar in a video chat they’d.
“I used to be crying,” Bachman mentioned. “The guitar nearly spoke to me over the video, like, ‘Hey, I’m coming residence.’”
TAKESHI agreed to offer it to Bachman in trade for one which was very comparable. So Bachman searched and located the guitar’s “sister” — made throughout the identical week, with an in depth serial quantity, no modifications and no repairs.
“To search out my guitar once more was a miracle, to search out its twin sister was one other miracle,” Bachman mentioned.
TAKESHI mentioned he determined to return the guitar as a result of as a guitar participant he might think about how a lot Bachman missed it.
“I owned it and performed it for under eight years and I’m extraordinarily unhappy to return it now. However he has been feeling unhappy for 46 years, and it’s time for another person to be unhappy,” TAKESHI mentioned. “I felt sorry for this legend.”
He mentioned he felt good after returning the guitar to its rightful proprietor, however it could take time for him to like his new Gretsch as a lot as that one.
“It’s a guitar, and it has a soul. So even when it has the identical form, I can not say for certain if I can love a substitute the identical approach I cherished this one,” he mentioned. “There is no such thing as a doubt Randy considered me and searched arduous (for the substitute), so I’ll progressively develop an affection for it, however it could take time.”
Bachman mentioned he and TAKESHI at the moment are like brothers who personal guitars which can be “twin sisters.” They’re collaborating in a documentary in regards to the guitar on which they plan to carry out a music, “Misplaced and Discovered” collectively.
Additionally they carried out a number of songs at Friday’s handover, together with “American Lady.”
Bachman mentioned he’ll lock the guitar up in his residence so he won’t ever lose it once more. “I’m by no means ever going to take it out of my home once more,” he mentioned.



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