In the late '60s, someone stole Frank Zappa's beloved Gibson Les Paul Goldtop, the guitar he used during the early days of the Mothers of Invention.
More than 40 years later, Dweezil Zappa — Frank Zappa's son — is on a mission to recover the guitar.
"Not only does this instrument hold historic and sentimental value to my family and the fans, but it’s also a pretty valuable vintage instrument in its own right," Dweezil said in a press release.
The experience has inspired the younger Zappa to promote theguitarvaults.com, a website dedicated to make guitar theft much more difficult. This site lets guitar owners register the details of their instruments to help them identify the guitars if they're stolen. This could make it more difficult for stolen guitars to be traded.
"What the site does is let guitar owners register the details of their instruments — pictures, make, model, color and any other identifying features. Most importantly, the guitar serial number is registered," Zappa said. "What seems a little odd now, looking back over the 60-or-so-year history of electric guitars, is that there still is no definitive record of serial numbers or a link to who actually owns any particular instrument. Of course, the internet makes keeping a proper record of these details much easier and the ability for the guitar community to come together and communicate is simple.
"So, the idea is, once the guitar is registered on the site it can be searched for and viewed publicly — so it will be cool to browse around and see other people’s guitars in close up. But, more importantly, if the guitar is lost or stolen, then the site member can flag it up so it’s clear to anyone viewing the member’s page that there’s a problem with that particular instrument.
"In the future, if anyone was looking to buy a second hand guitar, they can first search theguitarvaults to see who has registered the guitar details. If they find that the seller’s details don’t match up with theguitarvaults record then they can back out of buying the guitar and message the site member and give them some information to follow up.
"Obviously this site isn’t going to stop the trade in stolen gear but the whole idea is to make it more difficult for the trade to continue. At least it may help guitarists get closer to recovering their lost instruments. I think it’s a good idea. That’s why I’m joining the site myself."
For more information, visit theguitarvaults.com.