“This Old Guitar” Comes to Arizona’s Musical Instrument Museum
A modest, early twentieth century Gibson guitar will soon be displayed in the Musical Instrument Museum’s Artist Gallery in Phoenix, AZ. This guitar, the first John Denver ever owned, was given to the legendary singer/songwriter by his grandmother when he was twelve years old. It sparked Denver’s interest in music and was the catalyst for his extremely successful musical career.
Denver performed mainly on an acoustic guitar. The Gibson at MIM was particularly significant to Denver, partly because somewhere along the road he believed he had lost it. Overjoyed to be reunited with it some five years later, he wrote the hit song “This Old Guitar” both about it and on it.
Many fans believe this guitar was laid to rest with Denver after the singer’s untimely death in a plane crash in 1997. In fact, it has been safely in storage this whole time. The Denver family hand-selected the guitar to represent Denver in his exhibit at MIM. Denver himself tells the story of the guitar and performs “This Old Guitar” in this video.