Stolen guitar recovered after 45 years using facial recognition technology

Originally published at: Stolen guitar recovered after 45 years using facial recognition technology | Boing Boing


So the guy has stolen property and won’t give it back unless it is replaced at full value?

Pretty cool use of tech.


This is what the article fails to inform us, whether Takeshi acquired the guitar in good faith.


Even if it was purchased in good faith it doesn’t belong to him.

I mean, I’m happy that the original owner has the means to replace Takeshi’s valuable instrument and the story is pretty great overall. Perhaps this wasn’t a demand from Takeshi but more like he asked if even possible, might as well have asked.


Thanks to recognition technology, I guess Takeshi will have to … face the music.

( •_•)>⌐■-■


schitts creek yes GIF by CBC


After 45 years the odds are good that this particular guitar has changed hands multiple times and that Takeshi bought the guitar legitimately. Giving Takeshi another guitar here is not unreasonable.

Bachman could still have tried to recover the guitar without giving anything to Takeshi. Considering that Takeshi is in Japan, though, I suspect that paying the man would end up being cheaper than paying a lawyer to get it (and that’s assuming that they could even do it–I have my doubts).

(Also, if Takeshi bought the guitar in good faith Bachman would come off looking like an asshole.)


Is that sarcastic? If so then what’s your original point?

Nod Yes GIF by Captain Obvious

Takeshi himself expresses regret at possessing Bachman’s stolen guitar. It was probably more a situation of, “Here’s your guitar, but now I’m out a guitar that I also paid for. Regrets.”

It’s one of those situations where the original thief put others (concurrent owners) in the hot seat over his own actions (as per your edit).


I get it, it sucks for everyone and thankfully the original owner has the means and generosity to smooth it all over.

I’m just struck that it was requested to be replaced at current value, I wouldn’t even consider asking for that. I was assuming maybe something in translation and reporting missed the nuances of the agreement, Bachman is obviously thrilled to get his guitar back and is unconcerned about the monetary aspect.


I suspect it was less about the “current value” and more, “Well, I paid for a 1957 Gretsch 6120 Chet Atkins, and if this specific one is so important to you, then could you at least pay me back with another 1957 Gretsch 6120 Chet Atkins?”


If I had stolen property I would return it. Maybe that was the plan all along and Bachman offered a kind of reward by asking Takeshi what he wanted on return… well he wants his guitar damnit!

It’s really no big deal, just the idea of requesting a replacement struck me as odd.

1 Like

I wonder if this wasn’t even Randy’s guitar? I mean, if he had insurance and they paid out, then he has no claim on Takeshi’s guitar at all. Won’t somebody think about what the poor insurance company wants??


Also, “Bachman’s original guitar” has higher collectible value than a similar vintage instrument. I’m just happier the story had a cheerier tale than The Blood Violin.
ETA: Also, most musicians are notably poor in relation to famously successful musicians, some musician’s instruments are close to the most valuable possession they own. And if they’ve practiced for years on one, it’s jarring to switch to a different one.


So, stolen guitar not yet recovered after 45 years… :thinking:


I expect yall to promptly return your dwelling to Native Americans or Mexico!


While Randy Bachman had … rechecksover 350 Gretschs of various models, he donated most to the Fred Gretch museum. Ah, trickier than that. There were only 34 other Gretsch 6120 Chet Atkins made in 1957, but he’s holding one of them in the picture and video.


The NPR story I read quotes the fan who found the online video as saying he manually combed through photos that had guitars in them. Seems more likely the software can identify A guitar, but not THE guitar. The actual ID was made manually.


And if I was getting back a beloved guitar and had another like it and rock-star money, I’d offer to make the nightclub musician who unknowingly bought my stolen guitar from a Tokyo guitar shop and who probably doesn’t have rock-star money whole with a trade, especially if I was just grateful to be getting the guitar back. Given that they plan to play together, I don’t get any sense that Takeshi extorted Bachman.

From the video:
“I’m so honoured and proud to be the one who can finally return this stolen guitar to its owner, the rockstar, Mr. Bachman who was searching for it for nearly half a century, and I feel very grateful for this miracle happening in both our lives.” ~ Takeshi

According to the video, Takeshi was born the same year the guitar was stolen from Bachman’s hotel room, so I’m going to guess by the time Takeshi bought it from a Tokyo guitar shop, the shop-keeper had already been sold the stolen guitar by the thief who I’m guessing didn’t tell them it was hot; and that’s assuming it didn’t change hands other times in the 45 years since.


YoNgEsT bAbBy EvAr To PlAy GuItAr!!! /s

Mad Black And White GIF