Randy Bachman Exhibits Over 80 Guitars (and Their Stories) at Canada's National Music Centre

It's the largest exhibition of instruments the Canadian rock vet has ever shared

Photo: Jarrett Edmund

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished Apr 5, 2023

Now that Randy Bachman has his prized, pumpkin orange 1957 Gretsch 6120 back in his possession, the rocker is surely much more comfortable loaning some of his most prized instruments to Canada's National Music Centre (NMC) for a new exhibition.

New temporary exhibition Randy Bachman: Every Guitar Tells a Story will showcase "the sprawling guitar collection of one of Canada's most celebrated players" and the stories behind them at the NMC in Calgary, running between May 5 to October 1.

"The guitar is the most personal instrument of them all – it's right against your heart and soul," the heralded six-stringer of the Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive expressed in a statement. "This exhibition will give my fans a sense of how my love — and obsession — for guitars began and evolved. Since I picked up a guitar for the first time, it's been hard to put down. This is the largest exhibition from my personal collection that I've ever shared, and I'm so happy to bring it to Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre."

Take a look at the photo above and gaze into the face of obsession. More than 80 instruments curated from Bachman's collection will be on display, alongside a "selection of his historically significant and uniquely crafted collectors' items." Every Guitar Tells a Story also packs in first-person video storytelling and four tutorial kiosks with guitar lessons from Bachman himself.
Along with the 1957 Gretsch 6120 Bachman recovered in Japan last year nearly half a century after it had been stolen, axes set to be displayed include a 1959 Les Paul received in a trade a church basement in Nanaimo, BC, that can be heard on played on Guess Who hits like "American Woman" and "These Eyes"; a 1954 white Fender Stratocaster featured on BTO hit singles "Let It Ride" and "Takin' Care of Business"; and his first-ever guitar: a Silvertone Sunburst F-Hole Acoustic he purchased from the Sears catalogue in 1956 at 13 years-old.

In March, the artist toured Ontario with son Tal Bachman as Bachman & Bachman. Last spring, the elder Bachman was forced to postpone a solo tour due to "health challenges."

In January, Bachman announced that Robbie Bachman — his younger brother and co-founding drummer of Bachman–Turner Overdrive — had passed away at age 69.

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