When it comes to building guitars Dave Sumner knows a thing or two; just ask Sir Paul McCartney. But while his craft has led him to work with icons of the music industry, Dave now gives his life to spreading the power of worship through Guitar Aid
Walking through Timisoura Square, Romania, tank tracks fresh on the ground from the country’s revolution, Dave Sumner’s heart was struck with compassion as the reality of those who had died for their freedom dawned. In his travel case Dave had six guitars, which he decided to give away in a hope that music and the ability to worship God through song may bring some form of healing. Thus, Guitar Aid was born, with a vision to release and empower worship leaders by providing instruments to those who are unable to access or afford them.
“It was strange how things worked out in 1990,” Dave tells iBelieve. “In 1989 I was commissioned to make a guitar for Paul McCartney, it was a gold-plated replica of his Hoffner violin base and come 1990 all the publicity about that came out. “I was able to then contact all the guitar companies, and I came back from Romania with this vision to bring the ability to worship, but wondered what I was going to do with it. “Suddenly in every guitar magazine going there was a story about this guitar made for Paul McCartney – it was front-page of the Daily Mail the day it was presented – and suddenly I could say to all the guitar companies, ‘I’m the guy who made that guitar for Paul McCartney.’ “So I would ask them if they would sell me some of their second-grade guitars so I could repair them and that is how all this started. We were buying guitars and repairing them.”