Stolen: Band Gear and A Good Reputation
Many of you have read and commented on Mark Stuetz's post yesterday about the band Chevelle's gear getting stolen during a recent overnight stay in Dallas. Turns out, it's not at all an isolated incident -- not even close. According to the Internets and one musician with whom Unfair Park spoke, it's a fairly regular occurance -- and we didn't even need outside confirmation.
Maybe you remember that in March, Mississippi's Colour Revolt came to town to play the North by Southwest music fest at Ellum: Onstage and left without its gear. And, yeah, it doesn't just happen in Dallas -- in October, the Riverboat Gamblers went to Austin and came back empty-handed too. But Dallas has acquired a nasty rep as a bad-news town for bands who want to keep their cherished '57 Strats in their own possession.
On one site, for instance, a poster named "melovine" responds to the Chevelle debacle with:
"WOW that is crazy there have been so many bands that have had their gear stolen in Dallas:
Finger 11 (almost positive)
about 4 to 5 big names that I can't remember right now we played Dallas and its pretty much a shit hole now, to put it bluntly all the crime that was in New Orleans, moved to Texas after Hurricane Katrina, that has a lot to do with it."
Melovine's opinion seems to be shared with a good number of musicians -- well, maybe not his or her theory about Katrina. And when we first started trolling around the Web, it seemed the problem was oddly restricted to metal bands (including one called Mystick Krewe of Clearlight, who, ironically, are from New Orleans).
But then we spoke with John Evans, a Houston musician who plays a rock-ish brand of alt.country. Poor guy has been ripped off in Dallas -- "about seven out of 10 times," he tells Unfair Park. Interesting to note that in Evans' case, the problem has occurred mostly on Lower Greenville -- not in Deep Ellum, which is where everyone assumes this kind of crime takes place. Fact is, he now pretty much sticks to playing at Adair's, where he says he hasn't had any trouble.
In one instance, he says, "we pulled up, and I literally had someone walking back and forth to the van to make sure nothing happened. Then I told the guy to come set up the merch, and literally 20 minutes later" someone had busted in his van and grabbed a bunch of gear. "It happened to seven or eight other vehicles that same night. It's madness."
Most of the online commentators agree. On Blabbermouth.net, someone going by the moniker "Kidgruesome" writes, 'It doesn't surprise me it happened in Dallas. That city is such a shit hole and everybody who lives there thinks they have the right to be an asshole. I'll never go back to Dallas to see a show! I don't care if they re-animate Dimebag and they only play Dallas, I'd still skip it!"
Can't say we blame him. --Jonanna Widner