Separated at Birth!

Here's a nice little guitar story for you. Once upon a time my dear buddy Henry Gross (founding member of Sha Na Na, Woodstock performer, songwriter extraordinaire, professor of music and life) called me, breathless, and said that there was a little guitar shop in my neck of the woods that was ebaying an old Gibson guitar and that I needed to drop whatever I was doing, run over there and make them an offer to stop the auction and sell it to me on the spot. When Henry speaks in that tone I know better than to ignore him.

I obeyed and bought the guitar which turned out to be a 1951 J-50 Gibson acoustic, lovingly beat to hell by its single owner, an original member of the Texas band The String-A-Longs who had a #3 hit in 1961 with an instrumental called Wheels. Historical footnote: another member of the band wrote Sugar Shack!

Anyway, I immediately took the guitar over to to my luthier friend, Chris Herbert for a once over, and Chris's jaw dropped. He said he had the same guitar and folks, he did. Right behind him, on the wall was an identical 1951, J-50 Gibson acoustic guitar with one major difference: his was in better shape, cosmetically speaking. When we checked out the serial numbers we stared at each other in disbelief as we realized that they had adjoining numbers... his was 9143 10 and mine was 9143 11! After 60 years of living utterly different lives in different parts of the country they were suddenly in the same room with two guys who totally appreciated the wonder of it all.

See for yourself:

J-50 Gibson 9143 11J-50 Gibson 9143 10

The twin guitars reunited