[Greetings to the Redditors sent on this quest by Wil Wheaton; it's heartening right now to hear from so many people who aren't dicks!]
So, a semi-eventful day today…we flew into O’Hare Airport around lunchtime, in anticipation of our show Monday night at Lincoln Hall with Peter Sagal (hey, you all should *totally* come, it’s gonna be awesome!). As it happened, Friend of the Band Grant Imahara tweeted that he was in O’Hare at the same time, so we walked a couple terminals over to meet up with him for a bit. Once we left Grant and headed back to baggage claim a short while later, all our bags were slowly riding around the carousel.
All of them, that is, except for one: Storm’s guitar. Storm’s expensive Martin DC-AURA, the acoustic guitar he’s played exclusively for the past three years.
We went to the US Airways baggage center and asked about it, and if it might have come out anywhere else by mistake. The people there—who, we must note, were EXTREMELY HELPFUL (and continue to be), tracked it as having come into the airport, and a couple employees mentioned seeing it on the carousel earlier. But a search of the area yielded nothing. The US Airways baggage folks took our report, said a police report would be filed, and there was always the (faint) hope that it just got misplaced somewhere. It has not yet turned up, and at this point is presumed stolen.
We whined about it on Twitter (like you do), but remain circumspect. All in all, while it sucks for it to have been stolen, and it’s got a good deal of sentimental value, it is insured; so, you know. And we thought that was going to be it, but for the paperwork and the waiting and the borrowing of a guitar for tomorrow night’s show (and it looks like we’re all set there, thanks to those who offered).
But then, as he is occasionally wont to do, Neil Gaiman retweeted about it (from a post originally by our friend Bill Stitler); and all manner of retweets, condolences and calls for vengeance are pouring in. (To the point where, as of this writing, the top three trending topics in Chicago on Twitter are “@paulandstorm”, “DC AURA” and “#guitarthief”)
So first of all, thank you all. (And thank you, Neil) Second of all, please note: WE ARE NOT UPSET WITH US AIRWAYS. They have been nothing but responsive and helpful in all this, and we DO NOT seek to bring the Power of the Internets down on their heads, “United Breaks Guitars”-style.
Third of all, since there’s a lot of eyes on this at the moment, we thought we’d post a description of the guitar and case, in case anyone in the area runs across it somewhere, or if you were in the airport around 1-1:30 p.m. and might have seen it. You never know, right?
The guitar itself doesn’t have any particular distinguishing markings, other than being a bit scratched up; it’s a Martin DC-AURA, and it looks like this. (Also see picture at the top of this post) There’s also a sticker visible through the sound hole that says “DC AURA”, along with its serial number. UPDATE: serial number is 1215968.
It would be far more recognizable by either its case or the guitar strap (although we’re betting both are long gone at this point). That said, here’s a description of each, in case it shows up at a pawnshop near you:
THE GUITAR CASE
- Black SKB 18 Deluxe molded dreadnaught molded acoustic hardcase, looks like this. NOTE: handle is missing!
- Case is 75% covered in stickers—here’s a picture of it (thanks, Heath!)—including (but not limited to) the following:
- “I Stole Your Accordion” Kingdom of Loathing bumper sticker
- Molly Lewis round sticker (near where the handle used to be)
- “THE” oval sticker (Paul F. Tompkins)
- “Paul and Storm” blue square sticker, faded (near top)
- “Less Talk, More Monkey” Archie McPhee sticker
- “Worm Quartet” small square black/red sticker
- “Only Cowboys and Warriors can control the magic riding spider” AXECOP sticker, as well as a “plain” black AXECOP sticker
- Marian Call sticker
- w00tstock satin pass
- several round “Rock Band” icon stickers
- Ice Cream Man sticker
- MC Frontalot sticker
THE GUITAR STRAP
If whoever took it is dumb enough to include the strap when they try to resell it, it’s a Fender Patchworks cotton 2″ strap with the “nuclear fallout” logo—like the third one from the left in this picture. It also has several small (1″) buttons on it, including one from PAX, a “Don’t be a dick” button, a red button with a picture of bacon on it, our white “Dejected Arrr” button, and possibly a WAMU pin. Here’s a (slightly blurry) shot of the strap with buttons.
Also, there was a silver capo, a couple Jonathan Coulton logo guitar picks, and a sheet of paper with Storm’s name and phone number in it; although if Guitar Thief includes *those* when reselling, then he’s SUPER-DUMB.
Anyway, thanks everyone for your well-wishes and messages of sympathy. Here’s hoping, if we don’t get the guitar back, that at least karma will treat Guitar Thief like a punching bag.
If you do find the guitar, we will lavish praise and whatever goodies we can muster (probably a USB stick, and possibly we’ll bake you some cookies). But even if it is indeed gone forever, it’s really cheered us up knowing that so many people give a damn. Thank you.
UPDATE 11/15/10: Police report is filed; apparently, security cameras did see the guitar go around on the luggage carousel a number of times, but did not see it disappear, nor the culprit. Guitar serial number is 1215968. Reports filed on stolenguitarregistry.com and gearsecure.net. USAirways representatives have continued to be *extremely* helpful and supportive throughout process. (People complain enough when things go wrong; we thought it only fair that others be acknowledged when they’re doing a good job as well)