A fan has found rocker Randy Bachman's stolen guitar In the mid-70s, Canadian musician Randy Bachman's favorite guitar went missing. Using the internet, a fan tracked down the stolen instrument.

Rocker Randy Bachman's guitar was stolen 45 years ago. A fan tracked it down

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When Randy Bachman recorded this song in the late 1960s, he used one of his very favorite guitars.


THE GUESS WHO: (Singing) American woman, stay away from me.


It was a pumpkin orange 1957 Gretsch. He had spent years saving to buy it as a teen, and he used it to play major hits with his bands The Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive.

RANDY BACHMAN: It was with me all the time. I literally slept with this guitar.

INSKEEP: On tours, he was so worried about losing that guitar, he would chain it in his hotel room bathroom.

BACHMAN: I carried with me 12 feet of tow truck chain. So if somebody wanted to steal it, they'd have to rip the toilet out of the floor.

DETROW: Well, in 1976, his worst fears came true. He did not lock that guitar up and, yeah, somebody stole it. He was devastated.

BACHMAN: It's like you let your dog Skippy out for a run. You're looking at Skippy out the window and a truck runs over Skippy.

INSKEEP: Now, almost 45 years later, Mr. Bachman may get his guitar back, and he owes it to a fan. William Long, who lives in British Columbia, he's a kind of amateur sleuth, we're told. And during the pandemic, he had time, so he decided to take up the case. He took a screen grab of the guitar from a video and spent weeks scouring the internet.

WILLIAM LONG: Vintage guitar shops, going through internet archives, historic webpages and, yeah, I hit it. I found it.

DETROW: He found it on a for-sale ad in Tokyo, Japan. Then he tracked down the buyer, who is a well-known Japanese musician. Then he went to Bachman and Bachman contacted the musician who agreed to a guitar swap.

BACHMAN: People doing random acts of kindness who are strangers to you.

INSKEEP: William Long says he can't believe that he's the one who found the guitar.

LONG: I heard the story on a local radio the other day and I thought, wow, that's an amazing story. How'd they do that? Well, that was me.


BACHMAN-TURNER OVERDRIVE: (Singing) And I've been takin' care of business every day, takin' care of business every way.

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