Armored Saint bassist Joey Vera has been reunited with a bass guitar that was stolen from him 18 months ago.
The white ESP V4 bass was stolen in February of last year, along with a 1979 Gibson Les Paul guitar. And after months of trying to track it down, Vera resigned himself to the likelihood that he’d never see it again.
But earlier this month a fan got in touch to say he’d seen what looked like the bass for sale on eBay.
Vera says: “We filed police reports, searched local pawn shops, Craigslist, eBay etc for several months. But soon after we had to come to grips that these two guitars were gone forever.
“Then on October 4 of this year, just before I left for Japan to play a gig with Armored Saint, I got a message from a fan, William Wells, saying that he was about to bid on a bass he found on eBay.
“He really liked the bass and was about to bid when his memory recalled a similar bass in a post that I has posted back in February of 2015. After looking up that old post, he realised that it might be the same bass. He sent me the message along with the eBay posting ID, and sure enough after taking a close look at it, it knew it was my bass.”
Vera contacted the seller to “discreetly” ask for more details on the bass to see if he could confirm it was his.
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He adds: “He replied very quickly saying that he’d only had the bass for a week. He said that the bass came along with another purchase he’d made, a guitar. The person who’d sold it to him would only sell the guitar if he also bought the bass.
“But he was a guitar player and not a bass player so he was just getting rid of the bass. I replied and said, ‘I’ll bet any amount of money that the guitar you bought was a cream coloured 1979 Les Paul.’
“Turns out the fellow who bought these two guitars was none other than guitarist James Stevenson of Gene Loves Jezebelle, The Cult, Gen X, The Alarm.
“We got to talking and James is a super cool guy, completely understood the situation being a fellow musician having had guitars stolen form him also. The only solution was to buy them back from James for the amount of what he’d paid. And since James had bought the guitars from a local consignment center, the price was a steal.
“The police told me that it was a dead end, trying to get any money back and trying to find out who actually sold them to the consignment center in the first place. No worries. We’re both just so glad that we got the guitars back.
“Many thanks to William Wells, James Stevenson, ESP and all of you who helped repost my initial post and sent messages of concern. Thank you.”
Touring equipment being stolen has affected a number of top acts, including Black Stone Cherry, Young Guns and Saxon. And this year, Houston, Texas, was named the “stolen music gear capital of the world” after a string of thefts.
The problem has grown so much so that a St Louis, Missouri, firm has developed a guitar pedal with a built-in GPS tracking device.
Armored Saint tour dates
Nov 15: Seattle Showbox At The Market, WA
Nov 16: Sacramento Ace Of Spades, CA
Nov 17: Riverside Municipal Auditorium, CA
Nov 18: San Diego House Of Blues, CA
Nov 19: Mesa Club Red, AZ
Nov 21: Lubbock Jake’s BAckroom, TX
Nov 22: San Antonio Alamo City Music Hall, TX
Nov 23: Houston Scout Bar, TX
Nov 25: Tyler Clicks, TX
Nov 26: Dallas Trees, TX
Nov 29: Jacksonville Mavericks At The Landing, FL
Nov 30: Fort Lauderdale Culture Room, FL
Dec 01: Ybor City The Cuban Club, FL
Dec 02: Charleston The Music Farm, SC
Dec 03: Baltimore Soundstage, MD
Dec 04: Lancaster Chameleon Club, PA
Dec 06: New York Irving Plaza, NY
Dec 07: Pittsburgh Rex Theatre, PA
Dec 08: Chesterfield Diesel Concert Lounge, MI
Dec 09: Chicago Concord Music Hall, IL
Dec 10: Milwaukee The Metal Grill, WI
Dec 11: Peoria Limelight, IL
Dec 13: Omaha The Waiting Room, NE
Dec 14: Overland Park Kanza Hall, KS
Dec 15: Colorado Springs The Black Sheep, CO