Randy Bachman's beloved guitar, which was stolen 46 years ago, is now in the musician's possession in Sidney.

July 2, 2022By fanu benks

In 1976, a Toronto hotel was burglarized and the prized Gretsch guitar of legendary Canadian singer Randy Bachman was taken. Bachman was playing a Canada Day concert in Tokyo when he finally recovered the stolen guitar after decades of seeking and some good fortune.
The Gretsch guitar on which Bachman, 78, wrote "American Woman" and other hits was handed to him by a Japanese musician who had purchased it at a Tokyo store in 2014 without being aware of its history. Bachman, a former member of The Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive, said, "My girlfriend is right there."

Randy Bachman
The Fine Art of Pandering: Randy Bachman, BTO, and August 1, 1976

All guitars, he claimed, are unique, but the orange 1957 Gretsch 6120 Chet Atkins he acquired when he was a kid stood out. For his first purchase of an expensive instrument, a $400 guitar, he said he worked multiple jobs to save money.
"It changed my entire life. Before the transfer at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo, Bachman told The Associated Press, "It was my hammer and a tool to compose songs, make music, and make money.

I sobbed for three days when it was taken from the Toronto hotel in 1977. He said, "It was a part of me. It was quite upsetting. He claimed that after making vain attempts to replace it, he ultimately purchased roughly 300 guitars.
In interviews, on radio programs, and more recently on YouTube programs where he appeared alongside his son Tal, Bachman repeatedly discussed the missing instrument.

A Canadian admirer who had heard the tale of the guitar in 2020 started an internet search and within two weeks had successfully identified it in Tokyo.

Randy Bachman
Randy Bachman

William Long, a fan, traced down the guitar at a vintage guitar shop location in Tokyo by using a small area of the guitar's wood grain that could be seen in old photographs as a "digital fingerprint." He discovered the instrument being played in December 2019 in a YouTube video of a Japanese musician named TAKESHI.
After hearing the news from Long, Bachman immediately got in touch with TAKESHI and pointed out the guitar during their video session.

Bachman admitted, "I was bawling." The guitar nearly seemed to be saying, "Hey, I'm coming home," over the footage.


TAKESHI agreed to trade Bachman for one that was extremely comparable in exchange for it. As a result of his search, Bachman discovered the guitar's "sister"—made the same week as the original, with a similar serial number, no alterations, and no repairs.
Finding my guitar again was a miracle, and finding its twin was an additional miracle, according to Bachman.

Takeshi claimed that he made the decision to give the instrument back because, as a guitarist, he could appreciate how much Bachman lacked it.

"I just had and used it for eight years, so I'm very sorry to have to return it. However, he has been depressed for 46 years; it is now appropriate for someone else to be depressed, TAKESHI stated. "I felt bad for this legend," you say.

It would take some time for him to appreciate his new Gretsch as much as that one, but he claimed to feel good after giving the instrument back to its proper owner.
It's a guitar with a soul, I tell you. Therefore, even if it has the same shape, I am unsure if I will still adore this replacement as much as I did this one, he stated. There is no doubt that Randy looked far and wide (for the replacement), so I will gradually grow fond of it, but it might take some time.


According to Bachman, he and TAKESHI now possess guitars that are "twin sisters," making them like brothers. They intend to perform the song "Lost and Found" together as part of a documentary they are taking part in about the guitar.
In order to ensure that he never loses the guitar again, Bachman stated he will secure it in his house. He declared, "I'm never taking it out of my house again."

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