GAMA Reunites Rick Nielsen with Martin Guitar Sold by His Father 50+ Years Ago; Donation Benefits Guitars For Vets Nonprofit

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GAMA Reunites Rick Nielsen with Martin Guitar
Sold by His Father 50+ Years Ago

Donation Benefits Guitars For Vets Nonprofit


MILWAUKEE – Like the notes of a chord coming together to form something beautiful, GAMA’s recent matchmaking is bringing smiles and benefits to many.


Music has been part of Rick Nielsen’s life from early on. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame guitarist/songwriter and founder of Cheap Trick hails from and still resides in Rockford, Illinois, where his parents were both opera singers and his father was the proprietor of Ralph Nielsen’s House of Music for 39 years. Rick is also famous for his extensive guitar collection.


GAMA execs learned that a Martin 0018-C guitar had been donated to Guitars for Vets (G4V), a GAMA-supported nonprofit that uses learning to play the guitar as an implement to help heal veterans who suffer from PTSD and other war related ailments. In the guitar case was an original receipt from Nielsen’s House of Music, dated 1963 and signed by Ralph himself. GAMA President Brad Smith knew that Rick needed this guitar, and arranged a meeting between Rick and G4V.


As expected, Rick was astounded and delighted that this guitar – complete with his father’s bill of sale – had made its way back to him. He made a generous contribution to G4V for the instrument. In turn, G4V will use this money to expand and support its chapters, including the one in Rockford.


Smith comments, “GAMA’s aim is to bring together and grow the guitar community by promoting greater access to learning and playing guitar. This beautiful reunion exemplifies that mission. We were so pleased we could assist in this transaction that will have a positive impact on many people.”


About the Guitar & Accessories Marketing Association

The Guitar & Accessories Marketing Association (GAMA) is a trade association comprised of manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors of guitars and guitar-related products. The group’s purpose is to stimulate the market and serve the guitar industry.


About Guitars for Vets

Guitars for Vets is a 501(c)3 nonprofit founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 2007. G4V operates more than 60 chapters in 30 states, providing a complete guitar instruction program for veterans to share the healing power of music.


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