Shannon McMahon

Wishing On Planes

The Song of the Stolen Guitar

I have let this song mull around in my head for the last year and a half, it's time to get off my butt and write it. I'm sure people are tired of hearing the story of that fateful day in St. Anne de Bellevue, Quebec, when my guitar was stolen from my car. To be honest, it is partly my fault, for leaving the guitar in the backseat. It was covered well, of course, but that doesn't matter if someone is nearby watching you do it.  Minutes later, the small backseat window had a hand-sized hole in it and everything that was in the backseat was gone, including my roadside emergency kit, but excluding the bag of souvenir Montreal t-shirts and hats we had bought that day. To say I was devastated doesn't even begin to scratch the surface. My Guild F-30 was my first big name guitar. I bought it when I was 20 for $600, which was a lot of money for me back then. It had a sunburst finish and a dark tone that lent itself well to my sad songs. For 24 years that guitar and I were inseparable. It was a little beat-up and certainly showed its age. The bridge had been replaced and moved, and there was an imprint of a piece of music on the back. The guitar had been such a part of my life, I felt like I had lost my best friend. The thought of it in someone else's hands made me sick.

I was in Montreal for a musical gathering of Second Life musicians. Luckily, there was no shortage of guitars for me to play. Someone I met there offered me the use of his vintage Martins, and that was the beginning of my quest for a new guitar. I had a Taylor all but picked out but the call of the Martin was too strong. I had revered Martins from a young age, and a trip to the Martin Guitar Factory cemented that affection. A tip from the woman behind the desk at the Martin factory tour led us to the Nazareth Music Center.  A few hours later, I had purchased a Martin 000-28H, which was sent to the factory to have a preamp installed. The next two weeks went by so slowly, but the guitar was definitely worth the wait.  What a fabulous guitar.

My musical journey moves onward, without my faithful sidekick--the one who saw me through every emotion imaginable and absorbed my blood, sweat and tears for so many years. Several months after the theft, I found a mention of it online, posted the day it was stolen. Whoever had it then was trying to figure out how much it was worth and posted the serial number in his inquiry. I contacted the Montreal police, who said they would put an investigator on it. Yeah, I'm sure they got right on that. I do hope my guitar and I are reunited someday. It does happen. I have heard stories of people finding their stolen guitars many years later. I have hope.

So, what kind of song do I write to capture all of this? Early iterations of this song had an angry ring to them. I was out for blood. I'm not sure where I stand now. While circumstances have given me a superior instrument with which I am creating new memories and experiences, it still makes me sad to think about the loss I endured to get here. Ah...well...as they say, I'll get a song out of it.

© 2016 Shannon McMahon Music