West Coast rock band 54•40 is playing the Commodore Ballroom Friday night, but they’re doing it without some of their prized instruments.
Seven of the band’s stringed instruments were stolen on Thursday night from a U-Haul trailer parked in front of New Westminster’s Queens Park Care Centre.
Several of the purloined instruments are extremely rare, vintage models, including a 1957 Fender Esquire electric guitar, a 1966 Gibson Trini Lopez Standard, and a 1954 Gibson Florentine electric mandolin.
“It’s just stuff, but you get really attached,” said lead singer Neil Osborne.
“The guitars that Dave [Genn] and I had particularly were collectors item guitars, dream guitars that we both worked hard and saved lots of money — we’re talking well into the five figures, these guitars, and you fall in love with them when you play them, they’re part of your identity.”
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According to the band, the theft happened sometime between midnight and 9:30 a.m.
Band manager Allan Moy estimated the stolen gear is worth about $50,000.
“Lots of people have offered us some guitars to so we’ve got some backups. The show will go on,” he said.
However Osborne said despite the guitars’ collector status — they’re living instruments to the band, comparing his favourite, the ’57 Esquire to “oxygen, air, liberty, love.”
“We were playing with Randy Bachman about a month ago… He saw [it] side-stage and said, ‘That should be on the wall, not on stage,’ and I go, ‘What would be the point of that?’”
The band has since borrowed and rented some equipment for the weekend performances.
The rockers are offering a $5,000 reward for the safe return of the gear, or information that leads to its recovery.
“The instruments are irreplaceable and hold great value to band members beyond their monetary worth,” said the band in a statement.
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Anyone with information is asked to contact the band’s management at 604-671-2025 or email@example.com and the New Westminster police at 604-527-5411.
Complete list of stolen instruments
● 1957 Fender Esquire electric guitar, serial #20378. Blonde, some wear and finish checking. Back slightly stained with red dye. Weathered road case
● 1974 Fender Jazz Bass, serial #646897. Black w. white pickguard, maple neck. Black gator case
● 1966 Fender Stratocaster, serial #119921. Sunburst, heavy wear. Re-issue tuners and bridge. Strap locks Installed. Routing under pickguard. Weathered road case
● 1966 Gibson Trini Lopez Standard. #823870. Cherry, heavy wear. Replaced fretboard and tuners. Strap locks installed. Non-original Bigsby vibrato, previously drilled for a stop tailpiece. Weathered road case
● 1954 Gibson Florentine electric mandolin. #2221 Very rare double cutaway, solid body. Road case
● Gibson SJ200 acoustic guitar serial #877023, with aftermarket Fishman soundhole pickup. Some finish checking. Poly acoustic case
● Gibson Dove acoustic guitar with aftermarket LR Baggs soundhole pickup. Average wear. Poly acoustic case