TOKYO, Japan (CBS News) — In 1979, the guitar that Randy Bachman used to write “American Woman” and a string of others was stolen from his hotel room, which haunted him for 46 years.
After waiting 46 years, Bachman finally got to play his guitar again thanks to an intrepid fan that tracked it down in Japan.
William Long decided to start searching online for the stolen guitar during the pandemic from his Vancouver home. That eventually lead him to Bachman’s guitar in a vintage guitar shop in Tokyo.
Bachman’s orange 1957 Gretsch guitar was probably sold in a bulk purchase of guitars from the United States, according to the store owner. The guitar though had been sold to a Japanese singer Takeshi.
Last week at the Canadian Embassy’s theater in Tokyo, Bachman was finally reunited with his guitar after Takeshi offered to give it back.
“It took a while to sink in,” Bachman said.
Takeshi didn’t leave empty-handed though, Bachman gave him the guitars twin, which was built the same week as his, then two dual performed together.
While Bachman is with his guitar now, when it was first stolen from him, he was in rough shape. He said he didn’t sleep for about a week and was just crying and mourning over his loss.
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“It was the end of my life at that time,” Bachman said. “Because I’d written six Guess Who million sellers and six BTO million and played them with that guitar.”