Rock ‘n’ Stole: Gear. Gone. Gah!

We know way too many bands who have had their instruments and equipment stolen. (Knowing just one is enough, really). Local bands getting ripped off was, in fact, the impetus for Cohere Bandwidth’s inception, and even though we feel like we’re doing our best to create lemonade — some jerk is always showing up with more lemons and making our musician friends miserable.
Such tales are far too abundant. Unfortunately, if you keep reading, you’ll hear another one. Fort Collins musicians Daisy and Brian (she of local bad-ass band The B.A.B.E.S. and he, the bass player for SpokesBUZZ bands Wasteland Hop AND The Echo Chamber) recently had their stuff stolen. We think that sucks.

If there is good news, it’s this: you can help. Here are some ways to do so:

  • A Community Funded project has launched where you can donate funds to help directly with gear replacement, and with Daisy and Brian’s upcoming trip to Austin for the Colorado Music Party. Check it out and give if you can.
  • Speaking of the road to Texas and supporting local bands: there’s a kickoff party in Fort Collins on Sat. March 14 that will feature several musicians headed to Austin (The B.A.B.E.S. among them). You can buy tickets for that and help put some money in their pockets that way.
  • There is also a similar sendoff event in Denver on Fri. March 6 being organized by Illegal Pete’s (Wasteland Hop is playing that one). Buy tickets here for the South Broadway shows.
  • (Super-depressing side note: if you search “stole” on Community Funded you get the Cohere Bandwidth launch project where Wire Faces tells their tale of thievery. However: “successfully funded” is nice. People are nice. Most of ’em. Also: Shane has since purchased insurance for his gear, a mere $14/mo. for $10K in coverage! So that’s sort of a lemonade of its own. Or at least an Arnold Palmer.)

We will let you know if we hear of more ways to help these bands recover their financial losses, if not their gear. It’ll be impossible to “replace” their things, of course — read on if you want to get sad and mad, and then fired up to help them out.

Here’s Daisy and Brian:

Daisy and Brian

We’re two local musicians who had our car broken into while it was parked in our driveway.

…and here, in their own words, is their “Rock ‘n’ Stole” story:

It’s just stuff, right?

Metal and plastic and inanimate things that can be replaced.
Just strings and tin and carbon fiber.
That’s what we had to keep telling ourselves as we smoked too many cigarettes, drove on autopilot, ignored texts. No one was hurt, right? I mean hell, there wasn’t even any damage to the car.
It was just stuff.
Some idiot, some dope fiend, some whatever had broken into our car the night before. The CR-V is an unassuming loser of a car. It’s covered in stickers from New Jersey to California. Its windshield is cracked.
And on the Sunday night after Valentine’s Day, it’s broken into by a thief. Broken into while parked in the driveway. Broken into while the cul-de-sac suburbia neighborhood we live in is soundly sleeping.
Broken into and relieved of close to five thousand dollars of our musical gear.
Our life work.
It’s just stuff, right?
After the moment of panic, the “did we bring it in and forget,” the call to the police, the reeling, Daisy found herself half-sitting, half-lying on the driveway, laughing and screaming and crying all at once like a madwoman.
They had played a show the night before. They’d gotten home at two in the morning, and after driving down to Denver and rocking out, they figured it’d be fine.
She couldn’t understand how it had happened, really.
It’s fine, we live in a little neighborhood far from downtown.
It’s fine, the doors are locked.
It’s fine, it’s only one night, we’ve done it before and nothing happened. 
It’s fine, it’s just stuff.  
Except that stuff is her first and only electric guitar, the Flying V she worked her ass off for to buy herself when she made up her mind to make music her life.
And the pedals – Jesus Christ, the pedalboard she’d painstakingly researched and put together.
Fast forward to the hole in my chest.
The churning in my stomach.
The thought that I have to call my mom and tell her the pedalboard she got me for my birthday in December is gone.
The pedalboard her and my dad ordered custom for me.
The pedalboard they sent to me saying
We want you to keep doing what you love.
We want you to play music
We want to help –
Here.
And some fucking asshole just broke into my car and took it.
Took it for whatever reason that will never make sense to me, and there’s nothing we can do about it.
Daisy collapsed back on the driveway, the crying over but the terrible, gnawing, twisting in her gut remaining.
But it’s just stuff, right?

Brian was on total cruise control the whole day. At first it was a typical morning – wake up, pound some coffee, get ready to meet up with Wasteland Hop, the local indie hip-hop group he plays bass in. Then the panic. The police report. The brief false hope. It wasn’t until the band was practicing that night it hit him like a sucker punch to the stomach.
It wasn’t so much like getting the wind knocked out of him. It was like having his lungs ripped out and being put on mass life support, the doctor is the police officer shrugging and saying
That’s really all we can do.
A loaner bass graciously arrives. just in time for practice that same day.
Some purple, good enough, get-the-job-done bass.
It wasn’t until his fingertips were stumbling and skipping over unfamiliar fretboards that the finality of our crisis started to creep in.
I’ve had that bass for ten years.
It’s been to Los Angeles, Wisconsin, Alaska, Austin – you name it. 
It’s been a part of so many projects, it’s been thrown across stages, it’s been abused and loved and the ultimate tool of my trade.
Yeah, remember that time –
No, don’t. Because it’s gone.
Just like that, the thing I used to fashion my soul into a vehicle others could understand and hopefully find help in, is gone.
Brian got through practice quietly suffering, pushing memories of shows and songs out of his head.
It’s just stuff, right?

They drove to Cheyenne the next day, an ultimately useless endeavor. Pawn shops ignored them, the police refused to file a report because the case originated in Colorado.
Out of their jurisdiction.
Out of their hands.
Out of their minds.
It didn’t seem to matter to them that someone could drive an hour north with our gear and it would be lost forever. See, in Wyoming, the pawn shops don’t use the same checking system for serial numbers that Colorado does. So even if something is reported missing in Colorado, complete with serial numbers and description, Wyoming doesn’t get that information.
So Brian and Daisy dropped of their information at as many pawn shops as they could before they had to head back to Fort Collins for work. And all the time, there’s that gnawing feeling.

This biting, tearing, awful plague creeping in them.
As musicians, that’s all we had.
The stuff we sunk everything we had into because we love to create, we have to create.
The stuff we bought instead of food.
The stuff we found sense in when everything else was chaos.
The stuff we used to make audiences happy, angry, awed, dance.
The stuff we worked our asses off for.
The stuff we had just perfected for the upcoming South By South West showcases.
The stuff we treasured and loved.
The stuff we kept our souls in.
But it’s just stuff, right?

  • This is awful. 🙁

  • It’s heartbreaking every single time.

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