When John Dillon’s home on Wolverine Road went up in flames Aug. 29, he was happy to get out alive.
However, once the adrenaline wore off, he realized he had lost his guitars in the blaze. For the up and coming musician, the loss was just more salt in an already deep wound.
“It felt very sad that I wasn’t able to play instruments anymore,” said Dillon. “The thing I loved to do was gone.
“I’m glad there’s people out in this town who help and care. There’s very nice people here.”
However, members of the community came together to get him back to strumming. East Three school music instructor Abe Drennan said he was in conversation with a former student, Frankie Haggard, who restores guitars for kids who need them and the pair set to work on getting Dillon an axe.
Before long, they met up with Liege Macdonald, who works at the Inuvik Legion McInnes Branch 220, who just happened to be trying to sell an electric guitar.
A few quick chats later and Drennan dropped the guitar off with Dillon Sept. 18.
“I was very surprised,” said Dillon. “I didn’t expect to get another electric any time soon.
“It’s a very nice guitar too. A fender squier jaguar — I’m really enjoying it.”
Drennan said the way the deal worked out was quite unique, noting his former student Haggard had put the call out for an electric guitar on Kijiji and Macdonald just happened to see it.
Macdonald said he was inspired to help because he had more than enough to spare.
“I’ve got like, 10 guitars still at home, so I won’t miss one,” he said. “I know how much it would suck to not have a guitar. He had just lost everything in the house and playing a guitar is a nice and positive outlet for something that’s super sad to happen.”
Dillon’s been playing guitar since sixth grade. Drennan said he was would come into the music room every day to practice
Now back on the strings, he expressed his thanks to Macdonald, Drennan and Haggard for coming together to help him out and said he was back to practicing. His latest project is learning Sweet Child of Mine by Guns ‘n Roses.
“I’m trying to get the solos down for it. Those are hard,” he said. “I’m getting through that though.
“Shout out to Leigh Macdonald and Abe for getting it to me. It was very nice of them.”