Post by Jeff Owens
Late, great Arkansas guitar master Roy Buchanan played many guitars throughout his amazing, highly influential and all-too-brief career. His favorite guitar though, and hence the one he is most often associated with, was a 1953 Telecaster bearing serial number 2324. Famously, Buchanan nicknamed it “Nancy.”
Buchanan got the guitar in fall 1969, during his short-lived career as a barber in Maryland. As told in author Phil Carson’s Roy Buchanan: American Axe, the great guitarist said, “I was doing a guy’s hair the first day I saw it. A guy comes walkin’ down the street and I recognized my guitar. I’d never seen it before. I’d never seen this particular guitar. But I knew that guitar was mine. I walked out, right in the middle of a haircut, and I said, ‘Where’d you get that guitar?’ He said, ‘Some guy in Virginia sold it to me.’ I just told him ‘I want it.’ Usually you’d start trouble like that. He might think I was trying to take it from him or somethin’. But I said, ‘What kind of guitars do you like?’ He said, ‘I like real beautiful guitars.’ I said, ‘I’ll get you the most beautiful guitar you’ve ever seen and I’ll trade you straight across.’ I left work that day, and I knew a friend of mine who had connections. I told him, ‘I want a purple Telecaster.’ And he had it before the sun went down and brought the guitar out to me and I went by where the guy was playin’. I said, ‘Here’s your guitar. Where’s mine?’ He said, ‘Here it is.’ We swapped, man. That was it. It was like he knew it was my guitar too for some reason. It just belonged to me. I don’t know why or how to explain it. It was mine.”
Click the photo below to watch Buchanan perform “The Messiah Will Come Again” during a famous 1976 appearance on Austin City Limits.