Police recover $50,000 worth of The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s stolen vintage guitar gear

A collection of recovered guitars and effects pedals belonging to The Brian Jonestown Massacre
(Image credit: Portland Police Bureau)

Police in Portland have recovered a collection of guitar gear worth around $50,000, which was stolen from psychedelic rock outfit The Brian Jonestown Massacre last month.

The theft of the electric guitars, bass guitars, acoustic guitars and effects pedals was first reported on April 18 while the band was touring the US, after their equipment was reportedly stolen from a trailer attached to the group’s tour bus.

At the time, the group’s frontman Anton Newcombe issued a plea on Twitter, saying, ”I honestly believe that together, all of us gearheads can make these very hard to sell. Let’s find this shit and talk rewards.”

Though the band managed to continue their tour without their equipment, they’ve now been reunited with the majority of the stolen gear, which was recovered by Portland police at the site of a recent homicide.

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In a statement, Portland Police Bureau said, “During the abatement [of the site], officers recovered five of six stolen guitars and other equipment taken in a April 18, 2022 theft from The Brian Jonestown Massacre band that was touring in Portland. 

“These guitars are reportedly from the 1960s and have enormous sentimental value and are not easily replaceable, according to members of the band,” the statement added. 

Newcombe initially reported that a red Vox Ultrasonic XII, Vox Starstream XII, Gibson ES-335 12-string, Fender Jazz Bass, Harmony Sovereign and an Eko acoustic had all been stolen. Aside from the Gibson, all guitars were recovered at the scene.

An Ernie Ball Volume Pedal, Boss Chromatic Tuner, a range of guitar cables and a handful of other effects pedals were also retrieved.

Responding to the recovery, Newcombe wrote, “We are all eternally grateful to the Portland Police Department for their help in finding our stolen equipment. It has been said that it had great sentimental value, however, I am not very sentimental. 

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“I use my gear to create music 6 days a week, to feed my family and employ my friends,” he continued. “These are the tool of my craft, no different than a truck full of tools used in construction or any other trade.”

On Twitter, the guitarist added, “I am incredibly fortunate and have been blessed in so many ways, let’s spread that magic around and help people in need – together.”

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.