Being in a band isn’t all glamour and sexy stage moves. One of the big disadvantages of the musician’s life is that people are always stealing your stuff. Sometimes it’s a crumb bum nicking a guitar for a quick buck down at the pawnshop. Other times, it’s a fan hoping to grab a little piece of the magic. (Guitarist Steve Jones claims to have started the Sex Pistols with instruments plundered from Roxy Music’s van—and they were his favourite band.)
Whether it’s by a junkie or an admirer, having your gear stolen still sucks. After the Constantines’ Lee’s Palace gig on March 30, someone left the venue with Will Kidman’s guitar and Steve Lambke’s guitar case.
Also this past weekend, thieves broke into The Dears’ guitarist Patrick Krief’s Montreal rehearsal space and made off with about $18,000 worth of equipment, including his white Fender Stratocaster [pictured at left]. “Sixteen people pitched in to buy me that guitar (of which I had been dreaming about my whole life) on my 18th birthday,” says Kreif. “I’m pretty broke right now [but] I can safely say that I’ll give $1,000—no questions asked—to have it back.”
Let’s be blunt. $1,000 is way more than you’d get for a 1990s-era Strat at a pawnshop. And if you’re in a band, everyone is going to think you’re a dick for stealing from The Dears and Constantines. If you have the equipment, just return it to the rightful owners. And no trying to disguise the guitar—you’ll only end up getting spray paint in the pickups and wrecking it.
So vigilant fans, if you spot a 1995 black American Stratocaster (serial number N55 7313) with a white pick-guard and a rosewood fretboard, or a black Fender hard-shell guitar case covered in Constantines, Threegut, and Subpop Records stickers, email them, no questions asked.
Or, if you find yourself in Montreal, be on the lookout for Kreif’s 1998 standard Stratocaster with white pick guard, maple neck, graphite and original bridge saddles, and whammy bar with black tape on the end bit (contact Kreif through his MySpace page).
Thanks to Paula Gonzalez for the tip. Photo by Carrie Musgrave.