It’s been just three weeks since my brother and I got my “Guitar Full of Dreams” to Coldplay. In this short period of time, life has just been crazy busy, but also crazy awesome! I’ve also been traveling a lot since then, getting to visit Montreal and New York City, and now, even though things keep rolling, it’s time for me to tell you guys the story.
It all started with a set of fortunate events about a year ago, when one of my friends texted me and actually encouraged me to make a guitar for Coldplay. He said he didn’t know how, but that there must be a way. Even though, I really like and admire Coldplay, it just seemed too difficult of a task to handle at the time. However, I decided to keep his words in mind and carried on making guitars.
As time went on, I started streaming several of their live concerts on YouTube and they soon became the soundtrack to several of my guitar-making sessions in the studio. Next thing I know, I’m making a new batch of guitars and decide to save one for Jonny.
The building process started over 5 months ago. I looked for some inspiration and many other queues that would help me catch the Spirit of what Coldplay is all about. I carried on and built this guitar little by little as my personal art project, while I kept running the studio and building other guitars. As the summer went by, things just kept getting better and busier, but I was able to have the guitar put together by mid July. This gave me just enough time to make sure everything was working fine and also about a week to take some pictures and record a demo video.
Then, the time was here. Coldplay started their AHFOD North America Tour in New York City on August 1st and Boston was their next stop. I knew I had to get the guitar to them somehow, so I weighed my options and, on the day after their New York show, I started an intense social media campaign through the @GalloGuitars Instagram page.
As most of you saw, I began by making a request for Coldplay to play “It Hurts Like Heaven” on my guitar for the Boston show. This post soon gained some traction and many people started liking and commenting on it. At the same time, I contacted numerous Coldplay fan pages and asked them for ideas or any kind of positive input they could have on my efforts.
For the next few days, I solely dedicated myself to getting some leverage on my social media campaign. I kept making posts about the guitar and also uploaded a couple of demo videos. The most incredible thing was happening. In one end, I was mesmerized by the amount of support I had gotten from my friends, followers and Coldplayers all around the world, but, in the other, the task seemed nearly impossible.
I have to admit, because this is a very important part of the story, that there were many moments during this process where I felt disheartened and doubted that this would ever happen. However, more than my will telling me to keep going, I had a feeling deep inside that was telling me that it would happen and that I just had to keep pushing, no matter where, but just keep pushing. That, alongside the numerous encouraging conversations I had with several Coldplayers, kept lifting me up when I thought I couldn’t do more and made it all happen.
The night before the concert, I found myself in my apartment running out of options. I had sent a couple of emails along the way to some people related to Coldplay and also had made a couple of posts on Facebook and Twitter, but I was getting little to no answers. I persevered, did more research and sent more emails. By the end of the night I still had no answer, so I decided to give it one last shot and, against all odds, go to the stadium early next morning and see if I could make something happen. Before I went to bed, I called my brother and he said he’d come with me and help me make it happen.
I woke up early in the morning the next day. I had very little sleep, but I was kind of used to it already because this is pretty much what artists do. When I got out of bed, I looked through my emails one last time before I started my day. There I found ONE answer from all the emails I had sent. It was from someone on the Coldplay team who was in the UK. She told me that she would forward the info, but it didn’t look to promising. I kept getting ready and made a sign looking for Matt McGinn, Jonny’s roadie, to see if he would take the guitar to sound test. Then, I tuned the guitar, put it in a case and went to pick up my brother.
We drove to the stadium for about an hour. When we arrived, I took the guitar out of its case, grabbed the sign and walked to the complex. As we walked, we kept our eyes open for Coldplay roadies because we figured they were our best chance of getting the guitar to the crew and finally in the hands of Jonny Buckland.
A short time after looking around, we had little to none luck, so we started asking around. We went to several security checkpoints and all the guards were very nice to point us in the right direction. Then, we finally got to a place where we could actually get some roadies to come see us, but we were very quickly turned down as we couldn’t call anybody in the crew. However, before we turned around, I decided to send another email to the ONE person who had answered and tell her that we were at the stadium.
We made all our way back around the stadium and went to get some food. As we walked back, we hadn’t given up and kept thinking about to do next. Then, we got in line to get something to drink, so I decided to go on my phone and check my email and THERE IT WAS. The lady from Coldplay in the UK had answered and told us that she had arranged a pickup, so to please go meet someone from the crew in the ground level. We left the line and raced down to the stadium once again!
When we got there, we waited around for quite a bit, but finally met two other ladies who came to get the guitar. We talked to them for a little bit, gave them the guitar for a security scan and then they took the guitar with them, letting us know that the guitar would be given to Jonny.
That was the last time we saw the guitar that day. We went to have some food because we were starving and went home right after. It took us a while to process what had just happened, but it was REAL.
To this day, I cannot stop thinking of how, without any guarantees and very little chance of success, I always kept telling myself:
“I am making a guitar for Coldplay. I don’t know how, but I'm gonna make it happen!”
– Jose Gallo –