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My Best Friends Family want his/my Strat back!

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by artgtr, Jun 12, 2018.

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  1. artgtr

    artgtr Artgtr Strat-Talk Supporter

    Aug 18, 2013
    My best friend passed away like 10 years ago, just prior to his passing - he purchased a MIM Jimmy Vaughn Strat, he wasn’t doing very well & was mostly unable to really play it. At his funeral they brought it out & asked me to play Knockin’ on Heavens Door! It was a pretty emotional moment, it was hard to play with tears running down my face, but I did it.
    At the end - his family collectively stated they wanted me to have his guitar, he had other guitars they were keeping, that he had played & owned for some time.
    The other day - my ex-wife called (we get along) to let me know - the family (his Daughter) would like to get his/my guitar back, or that it be known that if anything happens to me - (like I drop dead) the daughter would be given the guitar back by my estate.
    I got to say - at first I was a bit upset. If your given a guitar, it usually doesn’t come with strings attached. That is what I went on for over 10 years, I’ve modded it, to improve its playability to my needs & to make it even cooler. It is an instrument to be played. They don’t play guitar - so it will become a wall hanger. Or live under her bed forever.
    I have numerous Strats, so I’m good on guitars with or with out it.
    I hinted that if they want it fine, they could have it back. So for now I’m kind of letting things hang & let them bring it up again, than I’ll give it to them.
    IMG_1882.JPG IMG_1881.JPG
    So - I use the guitar once in a while as a back up @ gigs, OK.
    I put this in weird category. I guess I’m kind of venting!
  2. Tom Cat Strat

    Tom Cat Strat Strat-Talker

    Jun 3, 2018
    New York
    Boy, that's a strange story. Feel bad for you that you were put in such a spot.
    Couple of options:

    1. nicely explain that you have extensively modded the guitar. It isn't the same guitar anymore. It is now more yours than his.

    2. Buy a cheap $109 Fender Bullet Squier and make it look like his and give that back to them. You say they don't even play guitar so they won't know the difference.

    I'd do number two. Screw them. They are being way out of line. Ten years later and they want the guitar back? They can't be serious.
  3. Lonn

    Lonn Mod Admin Staff Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Admin Post
    Give it back and move on. People are strange but you've had a good 10 years with it.
  4. jmontgomery

    jmontgomery Strat-Talker

    Jul 22, 2008
    Tell here she can have it when you drop dead then play it in good health.
    fryday57, sp8ctre, Naradajim and 4 others like this.
  5. MitchellD1

    MitchellD1 Strat-Talk Member

    Jan 29, 2018
    Talk to the daughter, tell her what the guitar means to you and why you would like to keep it, if she still wants it back, let her have it.
  6. strat_strummer

    strat_strummer Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Dec 17, 2017
    In the shop...
    I would respect the families wishes or hers and give it back. She can't take your memories back.
  7. YALCaster

    YALCaster Strat-O-Master

    Mar 14, 2017
    Isn’t there some sort of law that states you’ve had it for 10 years and they haven’t complained so it’s basically legally yours or something like that?
  8. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 27, 2018
    North Central NC
    You might gently ask the daughter if she is aware that her whole family gave it to you ten years ago.
  9. abnormaltoy

    abnormaltoy BushBaby Strat-Talk Supporter

    Apr 28, 2013
    To me, little means more than..."daddy's little girl", I would give it back. Think about the shoe being on the other foot.
    thxphotog, ocean, CyFan4036 and 18 others like this.
  10. Nadnitram

    Nadnitram Senior Stratmaster

    Jul 18, 2017
    The Heartland
    I think it's a karma thing. I definitely wouldn't screw over the family of my deceased friend.

    My dad passed five years ago. I carry his money clip, and it gives me comfort. We planted a tree in his honor and sprinkled his ashes in the hole. That tree brings be comfort. So I understand how your friend's guitar brings you comfort. I think it's inappropriate for the family to ask you to return a gift that they gave you as a tribute.

    But they asked anyway. I don't know if I could deny that request.
    opyron, Yves, dante1963 and 8 others like this.
  11. Bodean

    Bodean Just A Simple Man Strat-Talk Supporter

    Aug 23, 2014
    South Carolina
    I don't know what to say exactly.
    I am trying to wear the shoe, but it don't feel right.
    I don't think I woulda taken the guitar from the start. I wouldn't feel right. Especially in that moment. People aren't thinking clearly.
    Miotch, Hudman_1, medicchief and 4 others like this.
  12. ChukkerNation

    ChukkerNation Senior Stratmaster

    Apr 9, 2015
    Honestly, they’ve probably sold all the other guitars and that’s why they now want this one. You’re under no obligation to give it back. If it were me, I would go with what you think your best friend would want you to do. Personally, if they have other guitars from him, it seems suspicious that they want it back which is why I’m thinking maybe they sold off his other guitars.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
    gampadoug, Davey77, HTSMetal and 7 others like this.
  13. artgtr

    artgtr Artgtr Strat-Talk Supporter

    Aug 18, 2013
    Just for information - to buy this guitar now it is priced @ $849.99 new.
    abnormaltoy likes this.
  14. bear_down_chicago

    bear_down_chicago Strat-Talker

    May 13, 2018
    chicago, USA
  15. rockbreaker

    rockbreaker Strat-O-Master

    Jun 3, 2011
    Suffolk Co.
    Do you get the feeling they want it back for sentimental value? or are they going thru hard times and are looking to sell it? After you figure that out, if it's for sentimental value, I would explain to them that it has perhaps more sentimental value to you since your best friend gave it to you, and try to make them understand that their request is unreasonable. If it's for the money, I would definitely keep it. In reality, being a bit cynical, it's not really a valuable guitar so, if push came to shove, I would return it to stock and just give it back just for Karma's sake
    abnormaltoy and Bodean like this.
  16. radd

    radd Strat-O-Master

    Jun 2, 2016
    Santa cruz
    It’s dad’s guitar, give it back to the daughter. Smile and thank her for letting you have it for ten years
    owenmoney, kennyjoe, ocean and 17 others like this.
  17. Paperback Rocker

    Paperback Rocker Nitro-mancer Strat-Talk Supporter

    Sep 18, 2014
    Lewisville, TX
    People have a lot of nerve.

    It was given to you. You were his best friend! You played a song at his funeral!

    People have a lot of nerve.
  18. montemerrick

    montemerrick spiritual birthday, April 1 Strat-Talk Supporter

    I'd speak with her directly and find out if the return to her from your estate thing is really something that would satisfy her wishes. without a direct conversation, you don't really know what she wants. it's all beating around the bush and other people's interpretations.

    if she really wants the guitar back now, then i'd flee to Tahiti with Homer Simpson and lick toads.

    seriously though, an honest conversation with the direct participants. Best friend's daughter... it would probably be kinda nice to see her.
    Yves, jaybones, abnormaltoy and 4 others like this.
  19. jvin248

    jvin248 Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 10, 2014

    I'd make sure when you talk to them, 'you know this is a MIM not a MIA model, worth probably X but certainly not Y' and their reaction will tell you a lot about the previous comment on desire to sell it.

    Similar situation:

    When my wife's aunt's husband's parents passed away, their family emptied the house out and no one wanted the dining table and four chairs 'before it goes to the curb/goodwill/etc?' went through the family and no takers the first round or two. Being on the periphery of all that we ended up with it. I freecycled/craigslisted our old table and chairs to a single new mom with a baby.

    About ten years go by and the aunt's daughter is moving out and needs furniture so we hear 'hey, we'd like that table and chairs back for our daughter'. It's not like we had chucked it in the garage, we used the table every day and put the leaves in it at the holidays, I never liked the style or the chairs but they worked. Just plain weird. If they had that much sentiment for a table and chairs we decided we didn't need them, so we helped the daughter load it all up in her van and waved her on her way.

    A few weekends of garage sales for low cash we bought a serviceable replacement table and set of chairs. That's all been ten years ago.

    Good luck with your situation. Seems like you are taking the right approach.

    abnormaltoy likes this.
  20. Bluestrat83

    Bluestrat83 Strat-O-Master

    Jan 17, 2016
    I guess she should have it. It sucks mostly because that guitar won’t be played.

    I share one story: I grew up with my two uncles. One of them taught me to play guitar and eventually I became his band mate. We where friends and shared a lot together he was like a father to me. He had 3 guitars a vintage guild Sg (s100) a Yamaha that I don’t remember the model (an old model like the ones Santana used for a while). The last one was a guild bluesbird he bought when he already sick with cancer. The guitar was unusable with lots of issues but that was his last project and sadly he couldn’t finish it. When he passed he never said anything about me having it but I still restored with the best luthier in my country and then I offered his family to buy them and they accepted the deal. At first I didn’t have intention to keep the guitar just restored to kind of honor his last project but then it turned out so well that I decided to ask my cousin. My uncle bought it for $300 bucks and I invested like $600 In it. I offered my cousin the $300. The other guitars remain with my uncles family untouched. All the musicians that we know ask why those guitars are not with me now but my uncle in his sickness never had any particular plan for those guitars so I guess that maybe he wanted his family to have them and sell them im case of emergency. But I don’t resent anything to anyone the guitars belong to them even if they want them just to remember him, he was quite a character!
    Maybe if your friends daughter asks for the guitar you should offer to pay her something for it so she’ll know you want to keep it. That’ll be a polite way to say that you want the guitar and that it means a lot to you. If she doesn’t wants to “sell it” I’m afraid you’ll have to let it go my friend... she has her right IMO....
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