Rock Legend Randy Bachman Finally Reunited With Treasured Guitar After 45 Years

by Taylor Cunningham

Forty-five years ago, rocker Randy Bachman was staying at a Toronto hotel when his prized childhood guitar was stolen. And this weekend, it finally made its way back to him.

During a Tokyo event, Japanese musician TAKESHI handed The Bachman-Turner Overdrive alum his 1957 Gretsch 6120 Chet Atkins on stage. And Bachman admitted that the moment was more meaningful than anyone could know.

“My girlfriend is right there,” he said.

The 78-year-old bought the guitar when he was a teenager. He worked several jobs to save the $400 he paid. And over the years, the instrument helped him rise to fame.

“It made my whole life,” he told the Associated Press. “It was my hammer and a tool to write songs, make music, and make money.”

When it went missing in 1977, Bachman said that he “cried for three days.” And he searched far and wide for a guitar that would feel as special as his original. But after owning about 300 different near-replicas, he gave up.

But while he lost hope of finding a replacement, he never stopped his search for the actual guitar. Randy Bachman made it a point to talk about the guitar during interviews over the years. And after speaking about it during a YouTube performance with his son, Tal, in 2020, someone decided to help.

A Fan Located Randy Bachman’s Guitar Within Two Weeks

After listening to the story, a fan named William Long began an internet search. Using a picture of the instrument’s wood grain, he created a “digital fingerprint” that helped him track it down to a vintage guitar shop in Tokyo. Then he was able to further hone in on the guitar being used in a YouTube video recorded by TAKESHI in 2019.

In all, it only took Long two weeks to find the famous piece of stolen property.

Once Long gave Randy Bachman the good news, Bachman called TAKESHI to verify in a video chat.

“I was crying,” Bachman shared. “The guitar almost spoke to me over the video, like, ’Hey, I’m coming home.’”

TAKESHI wasn’t thrilled to hand over the guitar. But he understood how important the instrument was to Bachman. So he agreed to exchange it for a similar model.

“I owned it and played it for only eight years. And I’m extremely sad to return it now,” he admitted. “But he has been feeling sad for 46 years. And it’s time for someone else to be sad.”

Thanks to the heartfelt story, Bachman and TAKESHI are filming a documentary about the guitar. And in it, they will perform a special piece titled Lost and Found.

But after that, Bachman is locking away his guitar so he never feels the sting of loss again.

“I am never ever going to take it out of my house again,” he said.