How low can you go? Stealing from musicians is repugnant yet a regular occurrence


Another week, another band have their prized possessions stolen, Getintothis on the rise of musicians being targeted by criminals.

The repulsive art of ripping musicians off has been at the forefront of industry talk once again this week.
With Thom Yorke pulling his solo work from Spotify before berating their royalty system quickly followed by Portishead‘s Geoff Barrow slamming The Weeknd for using a sample from their track Machine Gun despite having been refused the right to do so.
Yet these high profile ‘big issues’ are a world away from very real criminal activities happening on a grassroots basis on an alarmingly frequent basis – the theft of musicians instruments.
The rise in stories of musicians from Liverpool being targeted and having their gear and personal possessions stolen is happening on a month to month basis.
This year alone, Getintothis has been emailed eight times regarding musicians having their equipment stolen – quite often out of the back of vans while parked near recording studios or even while at a gig.
The latest incident saw alt-rock band The Wild EyesNeal Johnson have his Fender bass stolen from a recording studio while GIT Award nominees Barberos had their entire tour van raided while in Rome resulting in the loss of two computers, a digital camera, a video camera and their clothes.
Earlier this year, Clockwork Radio, a Manchester-based band, had approximately £7,000 worth of musical equipment stolen from the back of a van while they were in Liverpool recording.
A total of 32 items were stolen from their van ahead of their Threshold Festival date. The equipment stolen included seven guitars, plus pedal boards and tuners. The thieves also stole clothing and a book full of lyrics.
Vocalist Rich Williams told JMU Journalism: “A lot of the money we saved up from working, touring and selling our CDs went into the equipment so that we could give people a good show and record to a better quality. We can’t replace or remember all the things like lyrical and song ideas that were in a writing pad that was also taken, so that’s also a blow.
That incident followed on from The Mono LPs reporting that friends had a six-string Wyn bass and a Suhr guitar stolen from Eric’s.
These incidents follow on from the higher profile Nigel Kennedy case at the end of 2012, when a set of £26,000 electric violins stolen in Liverpool seven years ago re-appeared at an auction in Flintshire.
And it’s not just Liverpool. Post-rockers 65daysofstatic, Get Cape‘s Sam Duckworth, Soweto Kinch and Sonic Youth‘s Thurston Moore have all had their instruments stolen in the last few months while DJ Eats Everything had his gear swiped at the DJ Mag Awards.
In an age when musicians find it even harder to ply their trade while earning enough cash from their endeavours it’s particularly sickening to see them targeted in such an unsavoury fashion.