I’ve been a Keith Urban fan for a long time…and I’m always in awe of folks who’ve had the experience of being lifted-up, saved, and truly touched by the man or the music. I myself have been pulled through some rough times with the help of Keith, so when fans want to share their stories…I’m more than willing to help. Glenda Hickey recently shared her story about how Keith pulled her out of despair, and the action she took to thank him.
My love of Keith Urban is not what most think, yes he is a lovely man to look at, but that is not why I did what I did. In 2009, my disease of Depression and Panic Disorder got out of hand, I had had enough, tired of it all, I was listening to Keith Urban music day and night, while my husband sat and watched me decline. I had doctors and counselors, but nothing worked. Then one day in 2009…I said this is it, I am done, but Robert(my husband) asked me to see my counselor one more time. On that drive to see her, I turned on the radio which I never do and when it came on Keith started singing the song ‘SHINE’. Now I have heard that song countless times, but on that day I listened (REALLY listened) to the words very clearly and it said to me, STAY ALIVE and at that moment I knew…I need to tell Keith my story. Time passed with attempts to contact Keith, with no result.
One night, last September of 2010; I awoke from a dream of this idea of asking my cousin Tony Carrier to handmake a guitar for Keith Urban. It was so vivid because the dream also involved my Dad… my Dad (Hedley Hickey) was also a musician, who played for amateur hours, weddings, party’s, etc. my Dad taught us the love of music and country music being his favorite. He was a very special man because even today, 28 years later after his passing his name resounds in this community and holds respect.
I asked Tony if I got 50 people involved with this guitar, people who have stories to tell on how Keith has effected their lives; would he make us a guitar? He said YES, I then asked could he put their initials in the fingerboard of guitar? Tony said yes and then it began…oh yes there were many ups and downs, too many to mention.
Tony started work on the guitar in December 2010. each person to have their initials inlaid into the fingerboard with Mother of Pearl which was purchased and shipped from Australia. I did not know what Tony would do to get those initials into the neck, but when he told me he was using Mother of Pearl I was shocked. We ended up with 56 set of initials, 4 being those of deceased people… their initials were done in Gold Mother of Pearl as was the Canadian Maple Leaf and Keith’s name, which is placed at the top of guitar. The guitar is made of Bird’s Eye Maple and Curly Maple, the fingerboard is Black Ebony from Africa and various parts are from other countries.
The journey continued from Sept 2010 to Sept 2011, through the help of dear friends I was able to get an email to Keith’s Public Relations people. I wrote and explained to them what I was doing along with the 52 people involved being from different parts of the world… Canada, United States,Germany and So Africa.
Keith’s people seemed interested, so I wrote periodically and added pictures of the progress of guitar. I was going to Keith’s concert in Ottawa, already had my tickets. Then in July, I received an email stating that I would be given 4 passes before the Ottawa show was to begin, that would allow me to have a private meeting with Keith so that I could gift him the guitar and tell him my story.
On the day, as i stood waiting to go in to see Keith it came over me, my dream is really happening… FEAR is not even the word for how I was feeling, but then reasons unknown, this peaceful calm came over me, and I knew my dream was about to happen and I knew I needed to be ready with my thoughts when I saw Keith.
Keith walked in and I handed him the guitar case…he then opened it with much surprise in his eyes. Keith was in awe, he was amazed, surprised and beyond happy!! And to be honest SHOCKED ~ But his face said it all, he listened to me with the intent like no one I have ever known in my life, he let me touch his face so I would know he was real… remember I too was living a dream.
Keith’s hugs were worth all the anxiety I went through to get this wonderful, heartfelt gift to him. My husband and two of the ladies who participated in the guitar project were also with me, as were many of Keith’s people and they too were in awe of the craftsmanship of the guitar.
Keith is not just an entertainer, Keith is a human being first and foremost, you can see his caring in his eyes, I wanted Keith to know my story and I can say without a doubt – Keith does care about our story’s and loves us for being his fans… he is willing to listen and understands that his music touches poeple in many ways and with a lot of us it lifts our spirit and helps us to thrive.
So on that Saturday, September 9th in Ottawa, Ontario… after I passed what had become “my baby” to Keith, when I put it in his hands, I then knew it was with its rightful owner, my job and promise to all involved with the guitar was done and fufilled. I got to look Keith in the eye, say thank you, tell him my story, tell him about the guitar and its importance to all on it, and I got hugs and he let me cry on his shoulder while I told him he was a special man like my Dad was to me.
Along with the guitar we gave to Keith an album consisting of a letter from each of the people who were involved in getting this guitar made, with their own words to Keith telling him their story. We paid tribute to the man that ; without him…none of this would have happened, Tony Carrier whom made the guitar.
This guitar is a powerful gift, I know that now, it is like no other gift before given to anyone of his caliber. Keith told me he will play it and sing the song SHINE and have this recorded on video for me….also the pictures taken at our private meeting will be sent to me, which I plan to share.
My journey… was much deeper than my dream and Keith Urban is way beyond the man I imagined.
I hope you enjoyed my story.
Belledune, New Brunswick, Canada.