Venice singer-songwriter Clayton Joseph Scott lives for music, which is why he was devastated when his prized Gibson J-45 was stolen during a photo shoot in the Venice Canals back in June. What he received in return was a gift he could not have expected.
“Wow, I feel like I lost a loved one,” Clayton wrote in a mass email he sent to dozens of local music and guitar repair shops, searching for any sign of his guitar. He was hoping there was a chance that it may turn up for sale or trade.
Bill Asher, master guitar builder and owner of Asher Guitars (at 2554 Lincoln Blvd.) responded to Scott’s email. “I hadn’t come across his stolen guitar, but know how that is. To lose a guitar, your only guitar, when you are a working musician can be devastating,” Asher said, who is also a guitar repair guru to many high-profile musicians. Asher offered tips such as filing a police report, checking on ebay and local pawnshops.
Scott’s story actually worsens. After placing an ad in craigslist lost and found section alerting people about his stolen guitar, someone responded claiming that he had purchased Scott’s guitar from a shop in Northern California. He told Scott if he sent him the money to cover what he had paid for it, he would send him the guitar. With high hopes, Scott shelled out the money and waited. The guitar never came.
Although deflated, Scott continued his passion – playing and performing on borrowed instruments – with the hopes of saving enough money to one day buy a replacement.
Months later, Asher and Scott reconnected. After hearing about Scott being swindled out of money on top of having his guitar stolen, Asher felt compelled to help. He called his long time client and friend Jackson Browne and told him about Scott’s unfortunate luck. Jackson sympathized and without hesitation, offered to donate a recently built Gibson J-45 from his collection.
“I was in disbelief,” Scott said after receiving the guitar. “It’s powerful to receive a material item like that from anyone, but for a singer-songwriter to receive a guitar from such a well respected musician as Jackson Browne, is amazing.”
Scott’s new guitar will enable him to complete his latest independently funded record, which is expected to be released later this year. Scott is also part of the Indie label Sweet Mercy Records and has a maxi-single titled “Heavy Rest” that is getting airtime on radio stations throughout Oregon and Northern California. To hear Scotts music, click here. Click here to watch Clayton perform his song “Lift You Up” Live at Agape.