Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan has finally been reunited with his stolen Fender Stratocaster from their Gish era after 27 years.
Corgan originally purchased the guitar from his bandmate Jimmy Chamberlin, and it was later stolen immediately after their Detroit show at Saint Andrew’s Hall in 1992. After a whopping 27 years of fake rumours of the guitar’s return, Corgan was finally reunited with the custom ax yesterday. According to the Rolling Stone, Corgan explained that a fan had contacted him several weeks prior, sending off a picture of a guitar that was remarkably similar to his own.
billy corgan reuniting with his stolen gish guitar after 27 years (2019) pic.twitter.com/wlzDNyY3ee
— billy corgan doing things (@corganthings) February 7, 2019
“Somebody sent me a picture a couple of weeks ago of another one of my guitars, and I wrote the guy back and said, ‘How did you get my guitar?'” Corgan explained. “He wrote back, ‘Oh, it’s a recreation.’ He’d literally gotten the same stickers, worn them down in the same way and scraped the paint so it looked worn. You could have fooled me.”
Corgan decided to check out the instrument for himself, and was amazed to discover that it had been his own original instrument. Before Corgan was reunited with the guitar, it was owned by Beth James, who had purchased it for $200 at a Michigan yard sale. A friend later noticed the peculiar similarity to Corgan’s instrument, and she connected with music royalties expert Alex Heiche, who had contacted the frontman.
“When [the guitar] was stolen, it wasn’t like, ‘Oh, gee, my guitar just got stolen.’ It was the guitar that affected the way I played and I was heavily identified with the guitar.” Corgan stated.