Randy Bachman lost his most beloved Gretsch in 1976. The Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive guitarist had bought the 1957 Gretsch 6120 Chet Atkins guitar when he was just 18 years old, with mon…
Randy Bachman lost his most beloved Gretsch in 1976. The Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive guitarist had bought the 1957 Gretsch 6120 Chet Atkins guitar when he was just 18 years old, with money saved up from doing odd jobs around town. Back then, it cost $400; today, it's worth about $15,000. When it was stolen from his Toronto hotel room, "it was heartbreaking," he told The Washington Post. "It's like your first love. You never forget that, and when it was taken, it was an absolute shock."
Enter - William Long
Long used facial recognition software to enhance an old photograph of Bachman's lost guitar in order to identify the unique woodgrain makings on its face.
After perusing hundreds of photos of orange 1957 Gretsch 6120 Chet Atkins guitars, Long tracked the instrument to a Tokyo guitar shop, and finally to the musician Takeshi.
"[Long] found a guy named Takeshi in Japan playing my Gretsch a couple Christmas's ago – he was playing, I think, Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree in a Tokyo nightclub," said Bachman, in a video he posted to YouTube.
Long was then able to contact Bachman, and Bachman's daughter-in-law, who is Japanese, was able to translate for Bachman and Takeshi. In exchange for Bachman's Gretsch, Takeshi requested, and Bachman found, another identical and rare Gretsch guitar. They plan to exchange guitars once Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, and perform together.