One of the great epidemics gripping the music community is stolen gear. Just yesterday we heard yet another report of a van being broken into, this time it was Butch Walker.
As he says on Instagram, a lot of that gear was custom made and unique, including a custom Telecaster guitar, an original Danelectro bass, an original Lapro Steel, and a reissue Mustang bass. What many don't realize is that musicians customize their instruments to their needs. More importantly, however, is that most musicians can't simply go out and get another guitar or bass. Most touring musicians are living day to day, meaning a guitar that costs thousands of dollars isn't really in the budget. Many times they find their favorite instruments in a shop somewhere on the road they may never visit again.
Sadly, stolen gear can also take an element away from a band. One of the more famous examples of stolen gear was Jimmy Page's 1960 Gibson "Black Beauty" Les Paul. Although he was best known for his Les Paul Standard, his Black Beauty provided a unique tone on a number of songs, primarily the earliest versions of "White Summer"/"Black Mountain Side". In April 1970, the guitar went missing and presumed lost. He would replace most live parts with his Danelectro (the guitar he used for "Kashmir"), but it wasn't quite the same. You can see the guitar in action from the footage of their 1970 Royal Albert Hall concert.
Long story short, stealing gear not only can adversely affect musician's already tenuous financial situation, it can take away an aspect of their music. If you do see any of Butch's gear out in a local pawn shop, please reach out to Butch or his right-hand man Todd to give them a heads up.