Vince Gill, Keith Urban + More Donate Guitars for Flood Recovery
One of the biggest stories in the wake of the devastating flood that attacked middle Tennessee earlier this year was the millions of dollars lost in instruments and other musical gear from some of country music's biggest stars, including Vince Gill, Brad Paisley and LeAnn Rimes. Now, a few high-profile artists are offering some of their most-prized possessions to raise money to continue to help in the recovery efforts.
Brad, Vince and Keith Urban have joined Peter Frampton, Pam Tillis, John Hiatt, Keb Mo, Duane Eddy, Amy Grant, Kathy Mattea and Steve Earle to donate instruments for an online auction, including some of the stars' most-beloved guitars damaged in the flood.
"This is a no-brainer for me, strictly because I think life is well lived when you honor your friends, Vince states. "Getting rid of these instruments is excruciating. It's really tough for me becasue I'm not the kind of guy that bought them and sold them and tried to make money. I've never made a dime off a guitar other than playing it."
Vince says he was was glued to the TV watching the coverage of the flood, but never thought about his own guitars until he received a phone call after the rains finally stopped. "I got a phone call on Monday and they said, 'Did you hear about Sound Check?' " he recalls. "I was mortified because I probably had 150 instruments down in there. Amy [Grant] saw the shock on my face and she came up to me and she knew I was just about to completely unglue. She looked at me and said, 'Just remember, all you need is one guitar to make a living.'"
Those powerful words, he admits, changed how he coped as he grasped the reality of his losses. "These instruments, they're our photo books," he explains. "I have a picture at home of me and Roy Acuff, who is one of my heroes. I was singing 'When I Call Your Name, which was the first hit record I ever had, and Roy was standing right here and he had tears in his eyes, and I'm playing this guitar when that picture was taken. There's gonna be a pretty big piece of that photo gone, but this just gets down to the simple fact that I'm glad to be here and help my fellow musicians because I know they'd do it for me."
Vince was one of the first artists to begin the fund-raising efforts to offset more than the $1 billion in repair and recovery cost. Less than one week after the flood, he organized a three-and-a-half hour telethon that raised more than $1.7 million for flood victims.
The NASH2) auction will run through January 8, 2011. Items can be bid on here.