NOS News•Today, 11:13
Canadian guitarist and singer Randy Bachman was reunited in Japan yesterday with his guitar stolen from a Toronto hotel room nearly 45 years ago. The instrument was recovered using image recognition software, which recognized the guitar on a YouTube video of a Japanese man.
Bachman, now 78, bought the guitar, an orange 1957 Gretsch 6120, when he was a teenager. He used the stringed instrument, among other things, for recordings of the iconic song American Woman by The Guess Who, of which he was a part.
The instrument can also be heard on You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet, by Bachman-Turner Overdrive. Bachman formed this band after his departure from The Guess Who. The guitar was stolen from a locked hotel room in 1977.
A Canadian man who heard Bachman’s story decided to investigate, reports news channel CBC† He used, among other things, image recognition software. “He said he released facial recognition on my guitar,” Bachman said last year. “I asked him what he was talking about and he said, ‘We use it on faces too, and that guitar has a face too'”.
Finally, the guitar was found through a specific knot that sits on the body of the instrument. The guitar was used in a YouTube video in which Japanese guitarist Takeshi included one christmas song played on.
Bought in Tokyo
Bachman contacted the Japanese last year, who turned out to have bought the guitar in 2014 in a guitar shop in Tokyo. The Japanese did not know that the guitar had been stolen. It is unknown how the guitar ended up in the store.
The Canadian rocker agreed with Takeshi to travel to Japan if the covid restrictions were lifted.
Yesterday he received the guitar from Takeshi during a short ceremony at the Canadian embassy in Japan. In exchange for the instrument, Bachman gave the Japanese an almost identical guitar. Then the two performed together.
Bachman says he will store the guitar safely in his house when he returns to North America. “He’s never going to leave my house again.”