Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins was reunited with a guitar he thought he’d never see again Tuesday in Flushing, Michigan.
The 1970s Fender Stratocaster that Corgan played on much of Gish was stolen after a show in Detroit in 1992. Corgan had offered a reward for $20,000 for the guitar’s return at one point, but had given up hope on ever finding it.
Rolling Stone reports that Beth James, a mother of three who doesn’t play guitar, had spotted the instrument at a yard sale over a decade ago and bought it for $200 because “I thought it was painted cool.” A girlfriend told her a few months ago that it had to be Corgan’s missing guitar, and a friend’s brother put her in touch with Alex Heiche of Sound Royalties, who made the reunion happen this week.
Corgan offered to give James the $20,000 reward, but says, “She didn’t want anything. God bless her. It falls under the ‘miracles can happen’ category. Even for a cynic like me.” Corgan did autograph another guitar for her though.