After an allegedly drunk woman smashed a street busker’s only guitar, Jack White stepped up with a gorgeous (and pricey) replacement.
Via the Scottish tabloid The Daily Record, the musical assault took place on October 20th. 26-year-old Matt Grant was playing his acoustic guitar on the streets of Edinburgh when he was accosted by a stranger. In a video posted just after the event, a distraught Grant showed footage of the busted instrument. “I’m a bit shaken up, because this lady’s come over and she’s just smashed my guitar,” he said. He then panned his phone to show the perpetrator talking to a police officer.
“That’s a £300 guitar,” he continued. “If anyone knows me in Edinburgh, they know I’m out busking every single day. I’ve never had anything like this happen to me. This lady came up, shouting in my face, swearing at me, telling me I wasn’t playing — So I told her to fuck off, basically, I told her to go away and leave me alone.” He added, “So she broke my guitar, threw it on the ground. Obviously if I don’t have a guitar, I can’t busk. If you could help out, I’d be — massive appreciation.”
Grant set up a GoFundMe, which was a rousing success. Only 24 hours later, he posted a clip of him back in the guitar shop, doing what people do in guitar shops, which is of course playing “Stairway to Heaven”. A nice enough conclusion to an ugly story, right? But wait — is that “Seven Nation Army” playing in the distance?
Enter Jack White. As Grant explained in another Instagram post some four hours later, one of the foremost guitar gods of his generation wanted to get in touch. Grant wrote, “And now for something absolutely incredible…” He explained,
“This morning I came into @guitarguitaredinburgh to pick up the new acoustic. Next thing I know I’m on the phone to @officialjackwhitelive ‘s manager who tells me Jack White has seen my go fund me page, feels bad for what happened and wants to buy me a new guitar. Flashforward one kid in a candy shop later testing as many guitars as possible and I settle on a custommade fenderstratocaster. Absolute once in a million lifetimes thing happened today and I cannot thank Jack enough for his absolute generosity. Apparently he saw what happened and hit up his manager just this morning, who then amazingly tracked me down to the guitar shop just in time for me to walk out with this absolute beauty. Thanks Jack. I’d love to thank you personally one day, you’re a legend.”
The sleek new axe cost £3,600 or about $4,700. The story, on the other hand, is priceless.
Earlier this month, White came to SNL’s rescue by reworking “Ball and Biscuit” and playing an Eddie Van Halen guitar. The White Stripes recently announced their first-ever greatest hits album, Third Man is releasing a digital octave guitar pedal, and over the summer The Raconteurs dropped a new EP and documentary, both titled Live at Electric Lady.