Despite his assertion that ordinary folks don’t care about the arts, Prime Minister Stephen Harper appears to be quite the music fan. Like remember when, a few month back, his band covered Guns N’ Roses at the Tories’ Christmas party, immediately reminding us of our weird, overly handsy uncle? Or the handful of songs he’s covered (cough: ruined) publicly, including a clumsy rendition of “Hey Jude” performed for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu? Well, if that wasn’t enough to convince you that Harper was pretty rock ‘n’ roll, then check this: Dude has a growing collection of rare, valuable guitars, including two donated by his boy—and, uh, national treasure—Chad Kroeger.
As the CBC reports, Harper’s rare guitar collection became known after he delivered a gift-disclosure declaration to Canada’s ethics commissioner. Parliament requires those in public office to disclose gifts worth more than $200 to the commissioner, while gifts costing more than $1,000 must be turned over to the Crown (or paid for). So, when it came time for Harper to disclose his musical gifts, it turns out he had multiple guitars donated by several rockists.
Topping that list is a $5,000 guitar, donated by notorious KISS badman Gene Simmons, who customized the axe (and literally, it’s shaped like an axe) for Harper. Ramen-haired Abbotsford, B.C. donkey rocker Chad Kroeger donated two items, a six-stringer and a bass guitar. He has a guitar signed by Carlos Santana. He has a custom Fender featuring a lit-up maple leaf pickguard. And, to top it off, he has a hand-crafted maple guitar, given to him for his residential school apology.
Best of all? Harper barely plays the guitar—he plays the piano, though his son, Ben, is an axeman. Can someone say poseur? [H/T CBC]