Randy Bachman reunited with guitar stolen in 1977

Randy Bachman has taken care of business.

The Bachman-Turner Overdrive axman was reunited with his treasured orange 1957 Gretsch 6120 Chet Atkins guitar Friday in Tokyo — 45 years after the instrument went missing from a Toronto hotel.

“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.”

The 78-year-old Canadian rocker used the guitar to write hits including “American Woman,” which he recorded in 1970 with The Guess Who. He said he purchased his “girlfriend” for $400 when he was a teenager and cried for three days after it went missing. Bachman also cried when he heard he was being reunited with the guitar he last saw in 1977.

It’s unclear what the instrument’s long journey home entailed. Bachman had long searched for the guitar and spoken about it during interviews. In 2020, a fan in Canada named William Long launched an internet search that led to locating the instrument in Japan two weeks later. At some point, it had made its way onto a vintage guitar site in Tokyo.

Further investigation found the guitar being played by a Japanese musician named Takeshi in a 2019 music video. Long contacted Takeshi, who agreed to return the 65-year-old instrument to Bachman in exchange for a similar one. Bachman found what he called his guitar’s “sister,” which was made the same week as his and was in its original condition. The pair made the trade at a Canadian Embassy in Tokyo.

Takeshi said he’s had the guitar for eight years and was “extremely sad” to give it up, but claimed his sorrow is less than what Bachman endured.

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“I felt sorry for this legend,” the Japanese musician said.

Bachman said he feels a bond with Takeshi now that they’re both making music with “twin sisters.” The two jammed Friday, which included playing “American Woman.” They’re also teaming up to film a documentary about how their path’s crossed, and working together on a song called “Lost and Found.”

It’s unlikely Bachman fans will see him play that guitar again.

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

Bachman-Turner Overdrive, which formed in 1973, is known for hit tunes including “Takin’ Care of Business,” “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet,” and “Let it Ride.”

Prior to the formation of that band, Bachman scored hits including “American Woman,” “These Eyes,” “Hand Me Down World,” and “No Time” with The Guess Who.

With News Wire Services

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