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  • Famous stolen Les Pauls ...

    As many are already aware, Eric Clapton's 'Beano' Les Paul, used with John Mayall and in the very early days of Cream, was stolen from a Cream rehearsal room in late 1966.

    Jeff Beck's Shapes Of Things/Truth Les Paul also went missing, probably sometime in 1969.

    Jimmy Page's original 3-pickup, Bigsby-loaded LP Custom was stolen from an airport on the one occasion he took it out on the road with Led Zeppelin.

    ALL of Keith Richards' guitars, including several LP Customs and Gibson/Martin acoustics, were cleaned out in France duing the making of Exile On Main Street. It was during this enforced re-stocking that he got into Telecasters.

    Lots of other guitar stars have sustained thefts of favourite instruments -- all but one of Buddy Guy's sunburst mapleboard 50s Strats come to mind -- so the question is this:

    Have these guitars had a wee makeover -- forged paperwork, re-inscribed serial numbers etc -- and re-entered the collectors' market under false colours?

    Who has them now? And do they know what they've got? Is it possible to relegitimise a famous and iconic stolen axe -- many of which were phortographed with their original owners countless times -- to the point where it can be innocently bought and sold?

    *Jean-Luc Picard voice*

    Gentlemen! Suggestions!
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    Originally Posted by Spike


    He's got his crust all stiff and upper with that nancy-boy accent. You Englishmen are all so ... bloody hell ... sodding, blimey, shagging, knickers, bollocks ... oh no, I'm ENGLISH!









    Originally Posted by Lucio


    everyone has different gear and stuff like this tends to be quite subjective.









    Originally Posted by Captain Jack Sparrow


    Gentlemen, I wash my hands of this weirdness.



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  • #2
    I went and checked my stuff. I think I've got one of Buddy Guy's strats right here. Ignore the part that says "Squier II" -- I just put that sticker on to throw off the fuzz.

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    • #3
      The funny thing is that they are worth far more as celebrity owned instruments then as vintage instruments. Maybe they're sitting in private collections somewhere? Could you imagine getting a guitar at a pawnshop with a crap refinish and the numbers sanded off to find out that it's actually an iconic instrument.

      I'm guessing that there would be statue of limitations on stolen property.
      -=RIP "Norton"=-

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      • #4
        I like the stories of guitars that came back, like Neil Young's Blackie. There's at least one more, but I forget who...

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        • #5
          Have these guitars had a wee makeover -- forged paperwork, re-inscribed serial numbers etc -- and re-entered the collectors' market under false colours?


          I'm picturing a scenario where a small factory, maybe somewhere in Marseille, there's some spiney sweaty dude, removing Gibson decals and serials and replacing them with Gibsun decals and Made in China stickers

          Remember the Monty Python Yellow Peril?
          Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. - Plato

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          • #6
            As many are already aware, Eric Clapton's 'Beano' Les Paul, used with John Mayall and in the very early days of Cream, was stolen from a Cream rehearsal room in late 1966.

            Jeff Beck's Shapes Of Things/Truth Les Paul also went missing, probably sometime in 1969.

            Jimmy Page's original 3-pickup, Bigsby-loaded LP Custom was stolen from an airport on the one occasion he took it out on the road with Led Zeppelin.

            ALL of Keith Richards' guitars, including several LP Customs and Gibson/Martin acoustics, were cleaned out in France duing the making of Exile On Main Street. It was during this enforced re-stocking that he got into Telecasters.

            Lots of other guitar stars have sustained thefts of favourite instruments -- all but one of Buddy Guy's sunburst mapleboard 50s Strats come to mind -- so the question is this:

            Have these guitars had a wee makeover -- forged paperwork, re-inscribed serial numbers etc -- and re-entered the collectors' market under false colours?

            Who has them now? And do they know what they've got? Is it possible to relegitimise a famous and iconic stolen axe -- many of which were phortographed with their original owners countless times -- to the point where it can be innocently bought and sold?

            *Jean-Luc Picard voice*

            Gentlemen! Suggestions!


            I don't think it matters who you are or how rich and famous you are,...you want your stolen stuff back.

            McCartney had his Hofner Beatle Bass stolen. He's worth something like 1 1/2 Billion. I think he still wants his bass back. And the **************************** who stole it,...his head on a stick.

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            • #7

              I'm guessing that there would be statute of limitations on stolen property.


              Interesting topic. Yes, I suppose there would be a statute of limitations on simple stolen property, but one could never be sold as a celebrity guitar without provenance, just like artwork. The famous owner would have to attest to it's authenticity and would that even be possible after 40 years? Otherwise, wouldn't serious collectors just consider it a fraud? Just makes stealing a one-of-a-kind instrument even more stupid.

              D
              '99 Parker Fly Classic'06 Gibson ES335 Dot'01 Fender MIM Std Strat (w/ Lollars)'03 Gretsch 6118-120T'91 Fender Deluxe Strat Plus'90 Fender Custom Shop Setneck Tele'07 Xaviere XV-600'10 Dreamcaster'92 Gibson J150Fender Evil TwinFender Pro Jr.and a bunch o' other crap...

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              • #8
                the guitarist from skynyrd once had his original LP stolen


                went back to a local bar a while after and found a picture of a guy playing his les paul

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                • #9
                  Zakk Wylde got his guitar back after a year or more i think. he had it in his truck, and it supposedly fell out of the truck while on the road. zakk posted it up on his website saying that he really needs that back, as it was his first guitar, and has sentimental value to it, and he will pay big money for it.

                  some kid saw the guitar in a pawn shop, and immediately knew it was zakks, so he bought it, and gave it to zakk, and supposedly the kid refused to take any money from zakk...or so the story goes...
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                  • #10
                    so the question is this:

                    Have these guitars had a wee makeover -- forged paperwork, re-inscribed serial numbers etc -- and re-entered the collectors' market under false colours?



                    Hardly. Remember these were stolen at a time when most folks won't have been particularly attentive to things like serial numbers. Besides, the thieves probably didn't have a clue who the guitars they were stealing belonged to. They would have sold them at the first opportunity to whoever would pay, with no clue they could sell them at a premium.
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                    • #11
                      Ryan Dahle of Limblifter/Age of Electric had his Les Paul stolen when he was in Age of Electric.

                      He may not be famous to you but should be!

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                      • #12
                        Hubert Sumlin
                        NYC Americana

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                        • #13
                          I think I heard about a long-stolen Vox teardrop bass being recently returned to Bill Wyman...it turned up in New Zealand!

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                          • #14
                            I was the proud owner of the sixth Hamer Sunburst made...sadly it was stolen from the stage in the early 80's.
                            “The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything”

                            Albert Einstein

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                            • #15
                              On a somewhat related note...I read an article a couple of years ago...it seems that this fellow bought a brand new Corvette back in the 60's, he only had it a short while and then it was stolen...fast forward to a couple of years ago at a port on the east coast (can't remember the city) officials discover that a mint shape 60's Corvette destined for Europe (can't remember the country) was that one that was stolen from that man back in the 60's...they promptly got in touch with him and he was able to retrieve his car.
                              “The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything”

                              Albert Einstein

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