Guitarist Gets Back Guitar He Accidentally Gave Away

Posted 05 Jul 2010 in Guitar Crime, Guitarist Antics

Chad Warrix’s guitar is back in Nashville.

Heidi Merritt and Garett Olson couldn’t be happier.

You might remember the kerfuffle last week when country musician Warrix was separated from his beloved Silverburst Les Paul guitar — reported by the show’s tour manager to be “worth more than a lot of people’s cars” — during a gig with singer Randy Houser at Grandma’s Sports Garden in Duluth.

That was June 23, and by the next morning Warrix and his bandmates were en route to the next concert in Oklahoma, but he was desperate to get his guitar back.

“Girl w/curly hair w/guy w/black cowboy hat, front row @ Randy Houser/Grandmas show in Duluth. Silverburst Les Paul WASN’T a gift! Return NOW!” Warrix tweeted on the 24th.

“Girl w/curly hair” was Merritt, 25, and “guy w/black cowboy hat” was Olson, 22, who live with their 6-month-old daughter in Duluth’s Piedmont neighborhood. Warrix had handed Olson the guitar and left the stage just as the show closed. He and Merritt were oblivious to the consternation that had ensued until one of Olson’s co-workers at Security Jewelers called it to his attention June 24.

“We called everyone just to brag that, hey, we got handed this amazing guitar,” Olson recalled. “I got to work the next day, and obviously I was bragging about it. A friend of mine plays in a band locally here, so I figured he would be the one to appreciate it. So I went and bragged to him, and one of my other co-workers overheard the conversation, and he had read the article (online) on the Tribune, and he said, ‘Hey, you might want to come and take a look at this.’

“I was shocked.”

Olson called Merritt, but first he called the tour manager. Later, Warrix sent him a text message.

“He said, ‘Hey, bro, Chad Warrix here, sorry about the misunderstanding,’ ” Olson recited. “ ‘We don’t want to lose you as fans, but unfortunately I need the guitar back.’ ”

Arrangements were made, and Warrix sent the guitar’s case to Duluth via FedEx. Before they could put Warrix’s guitar in the case and send it to Warrix’s home base in Nashville, Tenn., Olson and Merritt had to remove some stuff from the case, Olson said.

“We opened it up and there’s a guitar signed by Randy Houser and Chad Warrix; there’s two T-shirts, a hat … two of his CDs and a DVD with a picture that was signed: ‘Heidi and Garett, God bless you. We’ll never forget this day, will we?’ ”

Meanwhile, Warrix finished his four-month tour with Houser and is back in Nashville, where he has been reunited with the Les Paul Silverburst. A posting on his Facebook page Thursday shows a picture of a beaming Warrix clutching the guitar, a homemade “Welcome Home” sign attached.

Below the picture, Warrix writes: “My guitar made it back home to Nashville. We had a parade, threw a party, and ate cake.”

And, although this is a rarity for a newspaper story, it all ends happily.

“So he made it right and he’s a really good guy,” Olson said. “And actually Heidi wanted me to have you put in there that she wants to thank them.”

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