Rock veteran John Fogerty was left in tears when his wife gifted him with his original guitar on Christmas Day (25Dec16).
Julie Kramer covered the former Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman's gift with one of his plaid shirts, but when he started to tear away at the wrapping paper he began to tear up.
"I was immediately struck dumb," he tells Rolling Stone. "I turned to my wife and said, 'Am I about to get overwhelmed here?'"
After seeing his 1969 Rickenbacker 325 Sunburst guitar, which was emblazoned with the word ACME in yellow paint, he was overcome with emotion. Fogerty used the guitar early in his career and marked a number of milestones with it including playing at Woodstock. He also used it to write and record many of his hits including Green River, Travelin' Band, and Up Around The Bend.
However, he parted with it over 40 years ago when he gave it away following the disbandment of the group in the 1970s.
"I never imagined I'd see it again..," he says.
"I was just detached and numb at that point," he adds. "I think I gave it away to sort of end that chapter of my life."
However, 20 years later he spotted the guitar in Norm's Rare Guitars in Tarzana, California, but he didn't want to pay the money for the instrument.
"He quoted a price to my wife that I think was something like $40,000," he continues. "I just looked at him and the guitar, shook my head and said, 'I'm not doing that.' Again, I was in some sort of denial and numb about that whole period of my life..."
However, last year (16) Kramer embarked on a mission to find the guitar. Kramer found it at Gary's Classic Guitars in Loveland, Ohio, but didn't reveal who she was when she contacted the store owner about the instrument.
"She made herself anonymous," she adds. "How's that?"
After getting over the initial shock of receiving the guitar, the first song he played on it was Green River.
"I started playing the solo in Green River and the hairs stood up on the back of my neck," he says. "It was exactly that sound, 100 percent. I dare say I haven't heard that sound since those days when I had the guitar."
And he will use it on stage at his John Fogerty: Fortunate Son In Concert residency at the Wynn Las Vegas in March (17). He also plans to record new music on it.
"It's crying out for me to make some new music on it," he adds. "This guitar has had a journey with me and that will close the circle."