Andrea Tacchi Remembers John Weissenrieder

In Memoriam: John Weissenrieder (1964-2017)
by Andrea Tacchi

My friend John Weissenrieder and I had the pleasure of knowing each other, as well as time spent working together and later, harvesting the work of those years. And now – unexpectedly and with great sadness – the time has come for me to share some of my memories of John and the work we did together on guitars.

It was a long time ago, in June 1998 that I received a letter from Greece bearing a U.S.A. address from Boulder, Colorado. The two pages contained very precise, tidy and unique handwriting. “My name is John Wessenrieder…” This was the beginning of a long story of friendship and growth in a difficult profession, for John was to eventually become my student and I, his “Master”. The letter continued: “I asked the Guild of American Luthiers about builders in the Mediterranean area and then your name came out […] from September on, I’ll be in Italy to accompany my wife who will be studying painting in Florence for the next two years”.

John wrote this to me from Greece, where he had been spending long holidays in remote areas. He described many other interesting details, everything from his long swims, sun to his catching an octopus with his bare hands. Both John and his first wife, Julia, were professional cyclists, and outside of competition season, they spent time training together around the world: in Europe, Turkey, Greece, India and Indonesia. Once they even cycled through the Himalayas in Nepal to test a new track for future competitions.



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