A guitar with nearly 100 musicians’ signatures on it has been sold to benefit a guitarist with thousands of admirers still wishing him well.
Over the past two years, St. Louis Park music fan and amateur guitarist Mike Lancial has carried around a kit-made Telecaster with an unfinished body and picked up autographs from the likes of Emmylou Harris, T-Bone Burnett, Lucinda Williams, Gary Clark Jr., Todd Snider, Dave Pirner and a who’s who of Minnesota musicians. All along, he planned to sell the guitar to raise money for former Replacements guitarist Bob “Slim” Dunlap’s medical fund.
This week, Lancial did just that: The guitar fetched $2,800 via Reverb.com, which went straight into Slim’s fundraiser account (firstname.lastname@example.org via PayPal).
“I’m just a longtime fan and thought it’d be a cool way to help,” said Lancial, who built the guitar from an $80 kit. The unfinished body was better for displaying/preserving the autographs, and allowed for a cool emblazoned image of Slim as seen on his “Old New Me” album cover.
“It actually plays pretty well,” Lancial said of the guitar, “but I think it’s more meant to hang on a wall.”
All that's known of the buyer is that it was a woman in Lexington, Ky.
Slim’s wife, former First Avenue booker Chrissie Dunlap – who’s been caring for him at home since he suffered a severe stroke in 2012 -- posted her thanks for the guitar on the Slim Dunlap Fan Club page on Facebook.
“Shout out to Mike Lancial and all the signers of the Slim guitar, including T-Bone Burnett and so many more kind-hearted folks,” Chrissie wrote next to a photo of Burnett holding the Tele. “We are immensely grateful.”
The idea came to Lancial after HiFi Hair & Records owner Jon Clifford similarly sold an autographs-covered poster of Dunlap as a fundraiser a few years ago. Lancial wound up taking the guitar with him to the Americana Music Festival in Nashville, which is where he picked up a lot of the non-Minnesotan John Hancocks. He posted all 95 autographs via Facebook.
Probably his favorite signee was Emmylou, he said, because “she was as sweet as she is beautiful.” He was eager to continue getting names -- Bruce Springsteen would've been an obvious target after he again praised Slim on the E Street Radio channel in April -- but once COVID-19 hit “everybody stopped performing, and it just seemed like it was time to go ahead and sell it,” Lancial said.
It's times like this...