October 03, 2007

McLean saga ensnares fabled instruments - Nashville, Tennessee - Sunday, 09/30/07 - Tennessean.com

It is too bad that litigation could possibly end up in having these instruments removed. Crazy story though, especially the "apparent suicide" of McLean last week.

He spent 50 million in 5 years, some oif it on Mother Maybelle's guitar and Bill Monroe's mandolin. I have to say, if I had 50 million I would do the same (and a little something for you too, of course)

McLean saga ensnares fabled instruments - Nashville, Tennessee - Sunday, 09/30/07 - Tennessean.com: "A face-off in U.S. Bankruptcy Court over two of the most-prized string instruments in music history has legions of country fans on edge, while investors duped by a high-profile donor to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum hope to get some of their millions back. Hanging in the balance are Mother Maybelle Carter's famed 1928 Gibson guitar, which helped provide the foundation of country music, and the 1923 mandolin of Bill Monroe, who is considered the father of bluegrass.

The instruments, or at least the money that the late Robert W. McLean of Murfreesboro used to help the hall of fame acquire them, have become the focal points of this case of victim against victim, apparent suicide and long-shot causes.

On one side are dozens of people hoodwinked out of $40 million by a free-spending McLean, and on the other side sits the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, which acquired Mother Maybelle's famed Gibson L-5 guitar and Monroe's Gibson mandolin with some of McLean's cash.

Bob Waldschmidt, the bankruptcy trustee tracing McLean's history, says the law allows him to recover McLean's gifts to the hall of fame on behalf of investors and other creditors.

McLean spent almost $50 million in the last five and a half years of his life on homes, friends and charities, most of it obtained from people who thought the ex-stockbroker was investing their money in the stock market, Waldschmidt said.

McLean died last week

Instead, Waldschmidt said McLean was using other people's money for his own ends, including making donations to the hall of fame. The 60-year-old McLean died of a .38-caliber pistol wound to the head in an apparent suicide last week in Shelbyville, Tenn.

"If there was a ground zero for country music and a ground zero for bluegrass, those are the instruments you'd probably find," said Joe Chambers, chief executive officer of the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, a few blocks from the Country Music Hall of Fame.

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