Back in the 1970’s John Denver was on the hunt for a new lead player. His good friend Mike Taylor was leaving the band. Mike was the guy who wrote all the Iconic licks in Rocky Mountain High, along with a lot of the cool guitar parts in Johns music, like Late Winter Early Spring (When Everybody Goes To Mexico).
John stumbled into a local guy by the name of Steve Weisberg. Steve had been working in bands around Aspen and hoped that someday John might ask him to play in the band.
Then one day, Steve got the call. He was invited up to John’s house. They jammed for hours and John loved what Steve added to the music. Steve joined John on the road and in the studio for years.
John liked Steve as a friend and wanted to give something of himself to him. John had invited Steve to his house. John went to the back room and came out with a guitar case. John opened It up and inside was his treasured Guild F50.
He told Steve that he was going to give him the guitar. Steve was beside himself with excitement. He picked up the guitar and played a few chords. He then made the mistake of a lifetime. He told John that he loved the guitar and was going to put a wider neck on it. John reached across the void, took the guitar back, and put it back in the case.
Poor Steve was stunned. John didn’t want the guitar changed in any way and that was end of the gift to Steve. If there is a lesson here, I guess it is to accept a gift as it is given. It was a lesson that Steve would never forget.