Jody Stephens of Big Star put this picture on Facebook the other day. It’s his 1970 Yamaha FG-180, which is in the guitar shop for some light restoration. This is about as close to a relic as you will get.
The guitar originally belonged to Chris Bell, who used it on Big Star’s #1 Record. One tempestuous afternoon at a Big Star rehearsal, something was said which caused Andy Hummel to punch Chris Bell in the face; Bell retaliated by smashing Hummel’s bass.
Hummel then went out to Bell’s car and used a screwdriver to put four holes where no holes should be in the Yamaha – hence the strips of gaffer tape. Bell wasn’t too upset, he just charged a new guitar to Hummel, who kept the modified Yamaha, then later gave it to Jody Stephens who was learning to play guitar and used it to write “For You.”
Yamaha guitars are great. I’ve got a six-string seven or eight years younger than this which plays beautifully and sounds great. The frets have been filed and polished once in the thirty-odd years it has been “my” guitar. So I’m glad to finally believe that a Yamaha was used in the creation of Big Star’s #1 Record.
Chris and David Bell once stayed about half a mile from where I live when passing through Edinburgh…