APD Returns Rare, Stolen Guitar to Hill Country Musician
From Texas Standard.
Austin Police returned a pretty special Gibson guitar this week. It was one of only three produced. Willie Nelson owns one, Dan Rather owns one, and now, Walt Wilkins has his back. Wilkins is a singer-songwriter based in the Texas Hill Country.
On The Guitar’s History:
“It was made from the wood of an Army/Air Force Barracks in Marfa. And the holes that you see in it are actually rivet holes in the wall of the old long-leaf pine from the Davis Mountains. And they reason they did it was for the public radio station out there in Marfa. It was a benefit for them that they made these three guitars for. And somehow this third guitar was left without an owner and I do not know how that happened. But it was a gift from the Gibson shop here in Austin.”
On Losing the Guitar:
“It was picked up by somebody on December 23, 2009 – so just before Christmas Eve five and a half years ago – it ruined Christmas for me, believe me, because I really loved the guitar … I mean, this is what I do. I go out and play all over the country and Europe and you take these guitars with you, you fly with them. This guitar, I would even carry into restaurants with me when I ate sometimes if I thought the place didn’t look safe. And if you play them, as you would guess, playing an instrument is an intimate thing and if you play it night after night for a few years it really does become an extension of you I think.”
On Getting the Guitar Back:
“It happened in two ways. I was forwarded the information by two different people on Friday evening they said, ‘look, here’s your guitar.’ So I called a friend of mine who knew someone in the APD so I got it rolling on my end. And then this other guy, a detective at APD, he saw it himself. So there were two different paths going toward the guitar … I was told probably not to call the guy directly – which was of course my first inclination was just to go get it. But (police) said, ‘no, let us work this.’ So by Sunday night they did that and they recovered the guitar.”