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old band lost my guitar. advice?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by JamesGoodall, Oct 7, 2012.

  1. JamesGoodall


    Aug 29, 2011
    I played bass in this band for about 11 months. The rhythm guitarist was using the vocalist's guitar and rig, but this summer we decided to kick him out, thus our guitarist was left with no gear. Because of that, I loaned him my guitar until he had the money to buy his own. Bad call. Last month they kicked me out, and now the guitarist claims he "cant find" my guitar.

    All of that band are into pretty heavy drug use, yet only the drummer has a job to fund it. Me, the guitarists, and the vocalist were the only ones with keys to our jamspace, so I'm thinking maybe he pawned it? Our friend's bass that was there also went 'missing,' so my question is what should I do. I gave him an ultimatum that next week when I'm in town he can either give me my guitar, four hundred dollars (what I would have gotten for it had I sold it), or I was going to sue him in small claims court for the cost of replacing the guitar and case. About $970+tax. He called me an a**hole and told me to go ahead and sue. I'm not sure if that's the right thing to do or not. I'm not friends with any of these guys, they kicked me out based on rumors wihout giving me a chance to defend myself, and then stole $1000 in gear from me. What do you guys think?
  2. .BumeStik.


    Jul 15, 2012
    Gilbert, AZ
    Taking them to small claims is a waste of your time and $$$, IMO. I'd let them know ONE more time that if you don't have your gear the next day, you will call the Cops and have them get it back. Then, Do It.... :)
  3. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    Pick your bands carefully.

    Been there. I would think they probably sold your guitar.

  4. never lend anything to drug addicts and alcoholics (or look alikes).
  5. I think you learned an expensive lesson.

    4 guys had keys. Sfa the cops are going to do in that situation I would think. File the report and do the pawn shop rounds. At least if it shows up months or years later you'll have a claim on it.
  6. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    I wouldn't involve cops or courts at all.
  7. throughthefire


    Oct 1, 2010
    Yep - bad move.. If he's a guitarist, and doesn't have his own equipment, that's a question that needs an answer. He probably sold it for drugs.

    They've sold it for drugs.

    Yep - they've sold it for drugs.

    Also sold for drugs.

    Quit playing around. Call the cops with your suspicions. They might be interested from the drugs angle, but even if they do nothing, you have a crime report showing a considerable amount of equipment stolen.

    Small claims court is a waste of time - you've already stated that they have no money, so what exactly are you hoping to extract from them?

    Your only hope is a police report, then a lucky hit at a local pawn shop or GC. That way, you'll (maybe) get the guitars back.
  8. That leaves his momma. He already used up his charm.
  9. Marko 1

    Marko 1 Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2009
    N.E. Ohio
    A couple years ago I lost about $6,000 in PA/band gear because of a bandmate who acted irresponsibly out of spite after we had a band-breaking argument.

    I don't want to discuss it (still kinda hurts)- I just thought I’d mention that so maybe you won’t feel quite so bad.
  10. uOpt


    Jul 21, 2008
    Boston, MA, USA
    You had the same keys the same way they did. Unless they are complete morons they will have an easy time defending themselves in court. To the court it is as likely that you took the guitar as it is that they took it. And that doesn't begin to ask whether you actually put it in that room or maybe forgot it in the Starbucks across the street and honestly don't remember and thought it must be in the practice room.

    If it was important you could leverage a police investigation against them cooperating. You have nothing to lose in a police investigation, they do (because the drug issue). But it's tricky and risky. No way I would do it for $400.
  11. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    It will be considered a civil matter and the police won't even touch it.
  12. tycobb73


    Jul 23, 2006
    Grand Rapids MI
    take another bandmate's stuff and "lose" it.
  13. topo morto

    topo morto

    Mar 22, 2010
    Turn up and see him at work.
  14. JamesGoodall


    Aug 29, 2011
    Thanks for the advice. The problem is I'm in school, living about an hour away with no car. Next time I'm there I'm going to sweep the local pawn shops, but the reason I'm feeling small claims is to get the issue out of my hands and closed, regardless if I get the money or not. If he doesn't have to pay, dine. If he does then somehow I get my money and the ordeal is dead.
  15. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    Is there going to be a problem if there is no proof that you lent it to him? Or do you not need it for small claims court?
  16. Thick McRunfast

    Thick McRunfast Not just good, good enough

    Sep 30, 2012
    Portland, Oregon USA
    File a police report but I wouldn't hold out much hope that the cops are going to expend an ounce of energy trying to "solve" this unless you live in Mayberry.

    Keep an eye on CL and make a sweep of local pawn shops etc.

    You might want to take a look at how small claims court works. You'll probably come to the conclusion that it isn't worth your time.
  17. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    Seems to me that if someone steals a guitar and sells it to buy drugs (as this appears to be the case) it's unlikely he'll pay any court ordered restitution (even if you win the case).

    Having had family members with drug problems I learned long ago not to let them get close to my stuff. A true addict will never appreciate a kindness, but rather, exploit it. While a person might be a good soul before or after their addiction, it's almost universally true that they are a lying, cheating, stealing, douche bag when on the ****.
  18. Sorry you're F****D.
    chalk it up to experience and move on.
  19. JohnMCA72


    Feb 4, 2009
    Should any of your gear show up at a pawn shop, CL, etc. you will have zero chance at recovery if there is no police report on file. Actually, you will have a chance, but that chance is limited to being the high bidder & buying your own stuff back.
  20. Marko 1

    Marko 1 Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2009
    N.E. Ohio