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Organizers Fret Over Guitar For Charity

Mike Baum, the vice president of development and communications for SOVA, says that the guitar has been signed by every original member of the bands and in some cases by others.

"With the Temptations, we only wanted Otis [Williams] to sign it but they all signed it — that's just one story of how it backfired," Baum says. "For most of them just the original, primary members are signing it. KC is the only one that signed it the other day [when KC and the Sunshine Band performed]. It was John Popper with Blues Traveler. You don't want the other people just cause there's only so much space … and we're gonna fill it."

With around 30 acts performing at Innsbrook After Hours, with sometimes more than one signature per act, the rockers' autographs have already covered most of the front of the electric guitar.

Only halfway through the season, not much space is left on the special ax for the remaining 12 bands. Brad Wells, the executive director of Sea of Sound Productions and event organizer for Innsbrook After Hours, said that when famed guitarist George Thorogood began to jam on the guitar, he looked at it incredulously because it had no space left on the front. Wells said that when Thorogood glanced at the signature overload, he laughed: "Where do I sign? I guess on the back, where I belong!"

The artists who have played at Innsbrook range from newer acts such as Nickel Creek and Jonny Lang to revered artists from decades past such as The Beach Boys and The Moody Blues. Still to sign are Huey Lewis, Pat Benatar, and O.A.R., among others.

The retail value of the Star Guitar, which was donated to SOVA by the Richmond Music Center, is $1,000. Baum figures that the price of the guitar with the signatures should escalate into the thousands. On eBay, a guitar signed by 44 rock legends including Eric Clapton, Bruce Springsteen and Keith Richards was listed last week with a starting bid of $7,000 — and that was without KC.

— Lane Mikula

Raffle tickets cost $5 and can be purchased at Innsbrook After Hours concerts or at Richmond Music Center, Market Cafe and Plan 9. For more information on the Innsbrook Summer Concert, or SOVA, visit

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