Fans of Peter, Paul & Mary know a hot guitar when they see one.
A handmade Larrivee acoustic guitar owned by Peter Yarrow disappeared on a flight from Washington to Fort Lauderdale in December 2000. It looked like it was gone for good until something like it surfaced on an eBay auction.
Browsers recognized the six-string guitar and notified eBay and Yarrow. The online auction company canceled the auction and e-mailed law enforcement. Within an hour Monday, FBI spokeswoman Judy Orijuela said, agents found the guitar in the Miami suburb of Sunny Isles Beach.
“I’m very delighted, and so is Puff the Magic Dragon,” Yarrow said.
Arrangements for returning the guitar hadn’t been made, but Yarrow was anxious to get back his beloved instrument.
“It’s an old friend you know, and I’m eagerly awaiting its arrival,” the 66-year-old singer said Tuesday while traveling from Washington to New York. “It was a real loss at the time, but ultimately I accepted it, and now I have the joy of its return and I’m more than pleasantly surprised. I’m overjoyed.”
The guitar, made in 1973, was in a case bearing Yarrow’s name when it disappeared. A $500 reward for its recovery went unclaimed. Larrivee’s custom guitars sell for $10,000 and up.
Yarrow said it was the Canadian guitar maker’s first guitar with steel strings, and it was a favorite for concerts, recordings, protest marches and even a visit to the White House.
“You don’t make music on other guitars like you do on this,” he said. “It’s got its own personality and it has that history and it knows it.”
Yarrow never named the guitar but was thinking about calling it G.B., short for Gracious Boomerang.
At his request, no criminal charges will be filed. The man auctioning the guitar told agents that he was “doing a favor for a friend of a friend of a friend” and gave the names of everyone involved, Orijuela said.
Peter, Paul & Mary, known for songs such as “If I Had a Hammer” and “Puff, The Magic Dragon,” canceled the opening concerts on a tour this year after Mary Travers underwent chemotherapy for leukemia late last year, but Yarrow said he will take the recovered guitar on a planned spring tour.