Muddy Waters's Heirs Reunited with His Guitars

Chicago Tribune reports this morning that two of Muddy Waters's missing guitars have been returned his family.

One of the returned guitars was Muddy's iconic, oft–played burgundy Fender Telecaster that has sustained as an icon from Muddy's long career, even after his death in 1983.

That burgundy Telecaster has appeared in various display cases all around the country in celebration of Muddy and his great contribution to music, including the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Likewise, a nine–story tall mural of Muddy featuring the guitar was unveiled at the intersection of State and Washington in the Chicago Loop last week.

The other guitar recovered was custom–made, with an inlay of Muddy's name along the fretboard. The guitar was commissioned by ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons, who gifted the instrument to Muddy in 1977.

(Photos by Cliff Ward / Chicago Tribune)

The instruments were returned by Elizabeth Cameron, whose late husband Scott Cameron had managed Muddy during the latter part of his career and became the executer of Muddy's estate after his death.

As the Tribune reports, this return marks movement in a 2014 case brought by Muddy's heirs that reopened his estate after questions were raised about how Scott Cameron had been handling the late musician's royalties.

Andrew Bell, the Waters family attorney, stated in court filings that it appears as if the late Cameron — who died in 2015 — had actually paid his own company $1.9 million directly from Muddy's royalties over the last five years.


Elizabeth Cameron brought the guitars from her home in Florida for a hearing on Wednesday in DuPage Country, where she turned them over to Bell.

During the hearing, she said that she was never involved in any of her husband's business dealings, that he "did not keep good records," and that she's still sorting through his jumbled documents.

The case is set to return to court next month.

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