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Guitar Tech Zak Godwin Killed in Hit and Run At Age 57 - The Music Industry Responds

Guitar Tech Zak Godwin Killed in Hit and Run At Age 57 – The Music Industry Responds

Zak Godwin (Image: nextdoor)
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NASHVILLE (CelebrityAccess) – Guitar technician Zak Godwin II of Cedar Hill, TN, was struck by a car Saturday at approximately 5:40 pm (December 10) following a hit-and-run on Charlotte Pike. He was 57.

According to an official statement released by the Metro police department, it appears Godwin was “in the middle of Charlotte Pike” when he was struck. The car’s driver has not been apprehended, but police are actively investigating.

Godwin was most recently employed by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts on their stadium tour but was a longtime member of Kenny Chesney’s No Shoes Nation touring crew and had worked with Vince Gill and Hank Williams, III in the past.

Godwin released an album titled Flexar in 2000, which is currently available to stream on various music platforms. He then released 2018’s Moundbuilder on vinyl, CD, and download in 2018.

Brett Berns, who called Godwin his “best friend,” left a loving tribute on social media.

“I’m beyond heartbroken by the loss of my best friend, Zak Godwin, killed in a hit and run last night in Nashville. Zak was a big brother to me and my siblings, and fra iend to untold numbers of people who were lucky to know him.

“A brilliant guitarist, songwriter and alall-aroundusical genius, Zak became my teacher and mentor when I moved to Nashville after the army. He was a gentle Nordic giant raised by hippies in a teepee in Vermont who studied at the Berklee School of Music. Zak was heavily influenced by Jimi Hendrix and Neil Young. And I was heavily influenced by Zak.

“He showed me how to jam and brought me into the inner sanctum of his rock and roll world. He was my co-pilot on the many moves between Nashville, New York and Los Angeles, where we put together a garage band trio (with my wife Sarah on bass and me on drums) he named Lemon. He was best man at my wedding. And the guy you would call for the battle against all odds.

“Zak made great music in his life, ut never found commercial success. He worked on the road for years as guitar tech and tour manager for the likes of Vince Gill, Kenny Chesney, Hank Williams III and Joan Jett. He recently beat cancer, found love and married, settling down on a piece of land near the Kentucky border.


“We were going to do one last drive together across country in three weeks as I move again from LA to NY. Eagle to Maverick. Rest In Peace brother.”

There are several more tributes left on social media for the man whom many say was “solid and good from the inside out”, some fans even posted tributes for when he helped them get closer to their favorite bands – something he didn’t have to do.

Jessica C. ~ “The one responsible for some of the best times in my life passed away last night in Nashville. I asked this man if he would let my friends and I stand side stage for Kenny Chesney and he made it happen. love you Zak Godwin!! I will never forget you.”

Blackheart (Joan Jett’s label) ~ “Zak Godwin passed away yesterday, after being run down by a hit-and-run driver. He is a beloved member of the Blackheart team. He is a good man and will be missed.”

Godwin is survived by his wife Julie, many family members, and several friends in the music industry.

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