Rock Star Finds Long Lost Friend
Anyone who has played guitar for an extended amount of time knows this feeling. It's the feeling when you pick up a certain guitar; it just feels good in your hand. It feels like this guitar was built just for you. Maybe you still own this guitar, Maybe it was something you once owned. You use it on stage when you play out, or when you go to a friend's house to jam. You get attached to it, like it's your best friend.
Now picture this, you’re a rock star, and you just put out your biggest album to date. You used this guitar to make the masterpiece that became the pinnacle of your career. A couple of years later you’re on tour, and this guitar and all your gear are in a plane crash, presumably to be lost forever. Lucky you weren't on the plane, but still you lost your favorite guitar.
This exact thing happened to Peter Frampton in 1980, while on tour. A cargo plane, with all his equipment, headed to Panama, where he was scheduled to play, crashed in Venezuela shortly after takeoff. All his gear, including his beloved Les Paul, was presumably lost, or so they thought. It seems that someone took the guitar from the burning wreckage, before it was destroyed. This person sold it to someone from the Dutch Caribbean island of Curacao.
Peter Frampton was given the guitar, after he borrowed it from another musician to play a gig. It seemed this guitar was made for him, and he loved it the moment he started playing it. He used the guitar for ten years, until it was lost. This guitar was also used on "Frampton Comes Alive", his best selling album, and one of the top selling live albums of all time.
Donald Balentina, a Curacao customs agent, came across the guitar two years ago, when a local musician brought it to him for repairs. He noticed the similarities, between this guitar and the one on the “Frampton Comes Alive” album. He then consulted an expert fan from the Netherlands, Ghatim Kabbara, who also happened to be head of the tourist board. He thought this may be the guitar, and it seemed it was, when the guitar became up for sale, Donald Balentina approached Mr. Kabbara for the funds to purchase it. He then put up public money to buy the guitar, and the two of them got a plane to Nashville, and handed the guitar back to Peter Frampton in person.
When he picked up the guitar, he knew right away it was the one that was lost 30 years earlier. He was ecstatic to say the least. The guitar will need some repair, but he plans on using it for some upcoming shows. How the guitar finally got back into his hands was a miracle in itself. Peter Frampton, experienced that miracle, he finally found his long lost friend.