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Bands Asking Fans to Help Recover Gear

In an e-mail to fans the day of the theft, violin/guitar player Jonathan Segel wrote, "if anybody has any contacts up here, tell them to look for our stuff in stores, or hunt down the robbers and kill them."

Camper Van Beethoven, which recently reunited after a decade-long hiatus — during which time some members formed the band Cracker — is touring in support of its ambitious concept album "New Roman Times."

CVB had been an influential indie rock band in the late '80s and is touring this fall on a co-bill with Cracker through North America and Europe. They were only a week and a half into the three-month tour when the theft happened.

The tour will go on.

Frontman David Lowery is sponsored by Ibanez guitars, which has replaced his equipment and loaned some additional gear for the tour. Friends, fans and members of other bands also have stepped in to lend instruments and equipment.

While most of the stolen merchandise is replaceable, according to the band's Web site, there are a few items the band will miss dearly. And from their descriptions, you can tell these musicians know every inch of their beloved tools.

Segel's violin is described as "having been with Camper for 20 years now" and his hard-to-replace '71 Stratocaster guitar had "three-plus layers of stickers covering it." He carefully describes each dent and ding. Lowery's Surfcaster, a guitar that's no longer made and difficult to find, and Victor Krummenacher's Fender Precision bass also will be greatly missed. The bass is said to have "wear spots into raw wood from pick use on the front" and "a bunch of duct tape on it and my name and address both spray painted and Sharpied all over it."

They ask that fans keep an eye out at guitar and pawn shops, as well as eBay and other online auction sites. They're offering a $1,000 reward for the gear's return or information that leads to its return.

With or without their beloved gear, Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven are scheduled to play at The Norva in Norfolk on Nov. 11. — Carrie Nieman

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