This Old Guitar

Album: Back Home Again (1974)
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • John Denver wrote this song about a 1910 Gibson "F-hole" acoustic jazz guitar his grandmother gave him when he was 12 years old. This was the same guitar she used to play, and it became Denver's prized possession, as he learned to love music playing the instrument. Denver would often talk about the guitar in concert appearances and interviews, as it was such an important part of his development. He was living in Tucson, Arizona when he got the guitar, as his father, who was in the Air Force, was stationed there.
  • Denver was a shy kid, and was forced to move around a lot because his dad was in the military. He spent a lot of time listening to the radio and playing the guitar, learning to write songs along the way. When he was 13, his music teacher asked him to bring the guitar into class, which he did. After playing some songs for the class, he became much more accepted at the school.
  • John Denver died on October 12, 1997 and his body was cremated along with this same guitar. The remains were spread over the Rocky Mountains.
  • This song appears on 8 of Denver's albums. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    rudycito - Fort Lauderdale, FL, for above 3
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments: 4

  • Tommy from GaThe story of John Denver being cremated with his 1910 Gibson is a cool story but that guitar is on display at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix AZ.
  • Esskayess from Dallas, TxI'm sure he felt the guitar was 'part of him' and that became literal after he died, but just imagine what a price that item would have brought in auction.
  • Jeff from Atlanta, GaActually John was being nice - his 1910 Gibson F-Hole Jazz guitar (given to him at age 12 - 1955 - to try and releave some of his shyness - by his grandmother Swope) was stolen when he was making a TV special. It turned back up a few years later!! But it is gone now - it was cremated with Denver - and scattered on his favorite place in the Rocky Mountians!!!
  • Pete from Trewoon Cornwall, United KingdomPlayed my "Old Guitar" for forty years, can appreciate where he's coming from
see more comments

Francesca BattistelliSongwriter Interviews

The 2011 Artist of the Year at the Dove Awards isn't your typical gospel diva, and she thinks that's a good thing.

Director Nick Morris ("The Final Countdown")Song Writing

Nick made some of the biggest videos on MTV, including "The Final Countdown," "Heaven" and "Don't Know What You Got (Till It's Gone)."

Tom Keifer of CinderellaSongwriter Interviews

Tom talks about the evolution of Cinderella's songs through their first three albums, and how he writes as a solo artist.

Ian Anderson of Jethro TullSongwriter Interviews

The flautist frontman talks about touring with Led Zeppelin, his contribution to "Hotel California", and how he may have done the first MTV Unplugged.

Graham Bonnet (Alcatrazz, Rainbow)Songwriter Interviews

Yngwie Malmsteen and Steve Vai were two of Graham's co-writers for some '80s rock classics.

Mike Scott of The WaterboysSongwriter Interviews

The stories behind "Whole Of The Moon" and "Red Army Blues," and why rock music has "outlived its era of innovation."