When it rains, it pours.
As many of you already know, Animals As Leaders guitarist Javier Reyes was arrested by Boston police following a show on May 27 in what appears to have been a gross abuse of authority, and he’s having to deal with the legal ramifications of that. For more details, and to sign a petition urging the Governor of Massachusetts to get involved on Reyes’ behalf, GO HERE (at this writing, almost 25,000 people have signed the petition).
But now there’s even more bad news from the AAL camp. This message appeared on the AAL Facebook page last night:
We’ve got some pretty terrible news to report. Upon returning home to our house in LA we discovered that we’d been robbed while were out on tour. The thieves were able to get away with Javier’s Chevy Blazer and all of the equipment we didn’t have on tour with us. 10 guitars in total. This includes many of our one of a kind custom instruments (Stranberg, Rick Toone ) as well as amplifiers, PA equipment and personal items.
This is beyond devastating. We know so many of you have been beyond supportive with Javier’s legal troubles. We may need more of your help now to potentially find some of these one of a kind instruments that may pop up on Ebay, Craigslist, pawn shops, used music stores etc.
We’re adding an album containing photos and detailed descriptions of the stolen gear to our profile. Please take a look and keep your eyes open for anything that looks close to this stuff. I truly think that with your help we have an exponentially better chance of tracking some of this down.
To see those photos, GO HERE. One of them is at the top of this post. Also, after the jump, I’ve added the rest of the photos for those of you not on FB, along with a few more thoughts.
Obviously, this blows. It also made me think of something I hadn’t thought of before. When you get to a point in your life when you actually have shit that’s worth stealing, you learn to take precautions when you leave home. But honestly, unless you can afford an alarm system and a contract with a security company, your best protection is anonymity. Unfortunately, if you’re in a touring band with a name and a bit of notoriety when it comes to your gear (as in the case of AAL), anyone who cares to find out can easily learn when you’re on the road. What do you do in that situation?
It’s a shitty situation to be in. I can’t think of any great answers that don’t cost money (e.g., renting a secure storage unit and carting all your valuable gear to the storage unit every time you leave town on tour), and it’s not like most metal bands have a lot of that lying around. Maybe there’s also a way to make your shit more difficult to pawn or sell by putting indelible personal identification on it, but not being a musician, I don’t know.
At a minimum, it seems like a smart idea to take photos of your gear, as AAL did, and to record serial numbers and make notes of any other descriptions that would make it easier to recover the stolen property. Also, though it’s tough to do, keeping your residence address private would obviously be helpful, too.
Anyway, AAL will obviously survive. No one got hurt, and they had at least some of their gear with them on the road, but it must still hurt like a motherfucker to have something like this happen to you; many of these guitars look like one-of-a-kind items that may be irreplaceable.
Especially U.S.-based musicians in our audience, check out the pics and keep your eyes open. This stuff is so unusual and so eye-catching that in this case, I would think it will stick out like a sore thumb when the douchebags who stole it attempt to turn the guitars into money, at least in any kind of public marketplace.