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The Five Most Notorious Equipment Thefts Since 2005


To quote the title of a Stooges song, this is simply not right. On the morning of Aug. 5,Iggy Pop and his cohorts awoke in Montreal, Canada to find all of their instruments and equipment — not to mention the truck that was holding the gear — had been stolen over the night. As of yet, there hasn’t been any word on how the theft will affect the Stooges’ continued touring plans, but we of course wish them luck in finding the pilfered goods, and you can click here for more information on the robbery.

Sadly, this isn’t the first time that a band has had their gear lifted when they weren’t watching. In fact, it seems to have become near-epidemic over the last few years. Below, takes a look at some notable indie bands that were recently victimized by equipment thieves, and perhaps more importantly, whether the show went on.

To check out the list, keep reading on page 2.

The Band: Proto-grunge legends Dinosaur, Jr.
What Was Snatched: Six guitars, a bass, a set of cymbals, and assorted tools and cables following a show in Brooklyn in August 2006.
Did The Show Go On? Yes. The tour continued — despite cancellation warnings on J Mascis’ website. But as of yet, the gear is still reported missing.

The Band: Portland, OR’s wordy, wistful tunesmiths the Decemberists.
What Was Snatched: What wasn’t snatched?Keyboards, guitars, drums, amps — overall, over $15,000 worth of gear in Portland in March 2005.
Did The Show Go On? Yes, sort of. The trailer originally containing the gear was found a week later — minus the equipment — in Clackamas, OR. Tour openers Okkervil River assisted in lending some instruments, but a show in Vancouver, B.C. was postponed in order for the band to regroup.

The Band: Handsome Furs, the drone-heavy side project of Wolf Parade’s Dan Boeckner.
What Was Snatched: A drum machine containing the music for Handsome Furs’ live show was poached from a coffee shop in Montreal in April 2007.
Did The Show Go On? Yes, and according to Boeckner, the theft might have been for the better: “It helped the live show because having different versions of the songs stops you from just recreating the album every night,” he told at the time.

The Band: Shoegaze troublemakers the Brian Jonestown Massacre.
What Was Snatched: The whole shebang, as some might say — guitars, drums, distortion boxes, a bass guitar labeled “Assman” (no joke), the trailer carrying the gear, and even the band’s traveling van were nabbed in Brooklyn in September 2005, shortly before the Massacre were scheduled to play a show at NYC’s Bowery Ballroom that night .
Did The Show Go On? Yes, the BJM were lucky enough to get some help from local musicians to play that night’s show. As for the rest of the tour — well, with lunatic lead singer Anton Newcombe, do the BJM even need instruments?

The Band: Experimental folk act Grizzly Bear.
What Was Snatched: $30,000 of equipment and personal effects, including $7,000 in cash, in Brussels, Belgium in November 2006. According to a statement made by the band at the time, the theft left them with “only the clothing on our backs.”
Did The Show Go On? Sadly, no. The theft left the band without the funds to purchase new equipment, and Grizzly Bear were forced to cancel the remainder of their European tour.