For many musicians, their instruments are like their own children and losing it is just as painful as losing a child.

Forty-five years ago, Canadian rocker Randy Bachman had his most prized possession stolen out of a hotel room in Toronto. 

After saving his money from numerous jobs, Bachman bought a 1957 orange Gretsch 6120 Chet Atkins for $400.  As a member of The Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive while still in his teens, he wrote numerous songs including the hit “American Woman” on that guitar.  He said that he cried for three days after it was stolen and over the years had bought some 300 guitars trying to replace his cherished orange Gretsch.

On July 1, Bachman was finally reunited with the cherished guitar when a Japanese musician, who had purchased the guitar in a Tokyo music store in 2014, presented the guitar to Bachman at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo.

Bachman spoke on the guitar saying, “it made my whole life. It was my hammer and a tool to write songs, make music and make money.”

Bachman spoke often of the stolen guitar and in 2020 a fan, William Long, began an internet search for the Gretsch and found it in Tokyo.  Upon learning that Long had found the guitar, Bachman contacted the Japanese musician TAKESHI.  Recognizing the guitar in a video clip, Bachman said, “the “I was crying,” Bachman said. “The guitar almost spoke to me over the video, like, ’Hey, I’m coming home.”  TAKESHI agreed to trade the guitar for one that was similar.  Bachman found a “sister” version of the guitar and the trade was made.  “To find my guitar again was a miracle, to find its twin sister was another miracle,” said Bachman.

TAKESHI noted that he agreed to return the guitar to Bachman because as a musician he could understand how much it was missed; saying, “I owned it and played it for only eight years and I’m extremely sad to return it now. But he has been feeling sad for 46 years, and it’s time for someone else to be sad,  I felt sorry for this legend.”  He added that returning the guitar made him feel good.

Bachman noted that now he and TAKESHI are like brothers with their “twin sister” guitars; adding that they will be doing a documentary about the guitar and will be performing the new song “Lost and Found” together.  The duo also performed some songs together as a part of the guitar swap.

Bachman said that he is going to lock the guitar up in his home and never take it out of the house again.