In July, Ally McErlaine – guitarist with Texas and Red Sky July – appealed for help to find his lost guitar, a mid-1970s Gibson ES 335 Sunburst that he was given when he joined Texas, aged 17. The vintage guitar, which is valued at more than £3000, went missing backstage at a charity concert in Battersea Park in 2012. The guitar, which Ally played on every album by Texas and on all their tours, was featured on the front cover of the 1989 Texas single ‘I Don’t Want A Lover’.
Now, thanks to Brighton-based photographer Martin Burton, Ally has been reunited with his guitar. “A friend, who had been staying with me for a few months, emigrated leaving some of his possessions behind in storage. I recall him saying that the guitar had been in lost property but no one had been able to find the owner” explains Martin. “I’d forgotten about it until I read a story online about Ally looking for his lost guitar.”
Tracking down Ally through his band Red Sky July’s Facebook page, Martin sent pictures of the guitar to him, and Ally was amazed to see that it was indeed his guitar saying: “as well as recognizing the case, the guitar has a coil tap switch on the lower horn and had the machine heads replaced with locking ones which made it distinctive”.
Breaking off from his tour with his new band, Red Sky July, Ally arranged to meet Martin in Sussex where he was reunited with his guitar. “I was surprised and delighted to get my guitar back.” Ally said. “I had a nagging feeling of loss over this Gibson 335, almost like mourning, I have had this since age 17 and had built my style and sound with it. I would like to thank Martin for returning it to me and looking after it so well in the meantime.”