The Gibson Tennessean (Chet)

ChetMade on July 10, 1992.
I released my first album in November of 1993.
I’d been touring around Alberta as solo acoustic guy since 1989, but, now I was going to have a band behind me and I figured I needed an electric guitar.
So I went to Mother’s Music and bought a G and L Telecaster and a Vox AC30 to run it through.
A week after that I bought another Fender Telecaster from Long and McQuaid.
For some reason, I was never happy with my sound.
It never occurred to me that I could be the problem.
I couldn’t even spell EQ let alone EQ an amplifier.
In December of 1993, I was driving around Edmonton with Jackson Langley.
We were listening to a Duane Eddy box set he had bought that afternoon.
I went crazy.
I couldn’t believe how great this music was.
There was something about the sound that was somehow haunting.
Maybe because there were no lyrics.
I don’t know.
It was like this music had been living in a vacuum for all these years.
I felt like I was time traveling.
I guess, you could say that listening to any recorded music is like traveling through time.
Same as the written word.
The song “Rebel Rouser” had me from the first the first low E bend to the “baaa dup bup… baaa dup bup…” saxophone line.
On the cover, Duane Eddy was standing there as cool as the flip side of your pillow and slung low was an orange Gretch Country Gentleman.
Halloween orange.
Well that settled it. I needed a hollow body electric guitar like Duane Goddamn Eddy’s and that’s all there was to it.

In January of 94, I was killing time in Long and McQuaid one afternoon.

When out of the corner of my eye something orange caught my attention…

Could it be?
No, it couldn’t.
But it was a Gibson Chet Atkins Tennessean.
It wasn’t the same thing Duane Eddy played but it was a beaut just the same.
It played like a dream.
I needed that guitar.
I drove home as fast as I could, I got my two Tele’s, my AC30 and traded them all in for the Gibson Tennessean and a Fender Twin.
(In hindsight, I wish I’d kept the G and L Telecaster, oh well.)
In early 1997, I was in desperate need of cash flow, so I pawned it.
In May of 1997, my brother Chris, along with the guys in the band (Dave, Derek and Ernie), my managers (Johnny and Alex), my tour manager (Ivo) and a bunch of other friends were all out at a restaurant on Whyte Ave in Edmonton having a “get together”.
It was my 29 birthday.
Dave, Derek and Ernie showed up late because they were “jamming” at a friends place and lost track of time.
They came straight to the restaurant from the “jam session”.
An hour or two later, the waitress came over carrying a guitar case and said that one of the guys in our “party” had left this guitar at coat check.
It looked like Dave’s brown Gibson SG case.
“Hey Dave, did you leave your guitar at coat check?” I said.
“It’s not mine.” said Dave.
I looked back at the case.
I knew it looked familiar.
It was my Tennessean.
Welcome home Chet.
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