I Got This One Second Hand

Chad Morgan’s Gibson Guitar

When is a guitar more than just a guitar? The guitar pictured here is a Gibson J200VS – a classic acoustic flat top, much loved by musicians all over the world. Its design has barely changed since its release in 1937, making it a true icon. 

But this Gibson is more than just an iconic guitar. It belonged to the Australian country music legend Chad Morgan (1933-), fondly nicknamed ‘the Sheik of Scrubby Creek’. ‘I got [this one] second hand, had the guitar for about 10 or 12 years. Beautiful sound, easy playing.’

In his seventy-year career touring and performing around Australia, Chad was awarded numerous gold and platinum records, awards and accolades from peers and fans alike.  ‘Don’t clap, just throw money’, Chad famously told his fans.

Many aspiring guitarists have strummed a few chords on a guitar like Chad’s. If they’re lucky they might manage to write a song that turns strangers into friends, gifting them a lifetime memory captured in that song. Much loved songs can do that, demonstrating they can be both timeless and of a particular, very specific moment.

‘I wrote The Duckinwilla Stud on it. One of my last songs I’ve written. Not that I’m stopping. … I’ll die on stage or on the nest’.

Chad’s words aside, the marks seen on the scratch-plate of Chad’s guitar suggests it has a legacy written into it. The floral design on the plate is worn away from the countless songs that have been played on it. If the instrument could speak, what would it share of the scratches or dings, the scars or wounds from its time with Chad?

‘There was no stage, so I had the guitar on a stand and the audience were close. It got knocked off and … got broken. My son and I we glued it back…but…’

With this guitar, Chad Morgan has entertained audiences of grandparents, parents and children, winning over generations of fans.

Sometimes a guitar is just a guitar. This guitar is more than that, because it was Chad’s.