Proceeds generated by scribbled-on instrument
to benefit AthFest.


By Randy Harward


R.E.M. is showing
some hometown love by auctioning off a signed guitar to benefit AthFest, a
non-profit organization that preserves the jangly history of the Athens music and art
scene. The Brian Setzer Model Gretsch Nashville hollow-body was donated by
Gretsch, which celebrates 125 of years of guitar-making this year. From the
press release:


In keeping with AthFest’s mission to educate
people about music and arts, our staff is organizing a program that will bring
musicians and music business leaders into local schools to make presentations
to classes, as well as mentor kids interested in careers in music. Savannah,
Ga.-based Gretsch Guitars has a foundation that donates guitars that are
decorated by artists or signed by musicians and then sold to raise funds for
music and arts education programs.

The guitar has been
signed by all four original members of R.E.M., including retired drummer Bill
Berry, and comes complete with a new deluxe case. The eBay auction will begin
on June 18, coinciding with the start of AthFest, and conclude June 27.


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