Randy Bachman Finds His Stolen '57 Orange Gretch Guitar


Randy Bachman will soon be reunited with his orange 1957 Gretsch 6120 Chet Atkins model guitar that was stolen from a Toronto hotel in 1976.

Bachman, who had at one time amassed more than 350 Gretsch guitars, reached out to his friend Gary Dick at Gary's Classic Guitars in Loveland, Ohio to help find another one, in mint condition, for him to trade. 

Bachman, who bought the guitar in the early '60s in his hometown of Winnipeg, also used it on The Guess Who's "No Sugar Tonight" and "American Woman." He says he and Neil Young would go to look at it for an hour in the window at Winnipeg Piano.

Bachman went through great lengths to protect that guitar.

"I would take the guitar in its case into my hotel room with a hopsack with 12 feet of tow-truck chain.

"I put my guitar next to the toilet in the bathroom, wrap the chain through the handle of the case, around the case and around the toilet twice and lock it twice. So if anyone was going to steal it, they'd have to rip the toilet off the floor of the bathroom."

But in 1976, when Bachman-Turner Overdrive were checking out of a Toronto Holiday Inn, the guitar was put in a room with other luggage, and in the five minutes it took for the hotel bill to be paid, the instrument was gone.

And Takeshi has commented, saying, "When I first strummed this guitar at the music shop in Tokyo, I knew and felt it was destiny — I immediately and impulsively purchased it.

"I'm so honored 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."

Bachman has searched for the guitar ever since with the help of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and vintage instrument dealers across North America. He says when he gets it back in his hands he will "be beyond verklempt. I'm pretty sure I'll be in tears."

Bachman and his son Tal are currently working on an album together.


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