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Comment by Edward Sparks on November 21, 2011 at 6:35pm

Michael, Jud and FloridaGull,  My theft story!


 I don't have any pre-war instruments or any worth tens of thousands to another collector or player, but I am so grateful to have what I have and for many reasons, some of the based on monetary value, some on heartfelt sentimental connections, and some just "because."  I currently own about 30 instruments most of which are acoustic guitars, and each one of them has a meaning to me.  Five of those 30 were willed to me when one of my best friends passed away back in 1993, and so, as you can imagine, they hold great sentimental value. I too have had two instruments stolen, a 1980 Guild JF212XL (not available to be replaced at the time of the theft) and a Hofner Beatle bass given to me as a present from my wife. I miraculously (as the police put it) got them both back when the fool stayed local and tried to sell them to the local Guitar Center, where they know me well enough to think I have stock!  I couldn't believe the feeling of violation when they were not where I left them in a "safe storage spot" after a gig.  I sweated out 6 long weeks before I got a call from the police (about ten minutes before as we were about to hit the first chord in a benefit for people with disabilities) and they had the guy at the local Guitar Center with both of them!  During those 6 weeks I tried to replace the 12 string first and realized that since I bought it new in 1980, that model had been discontinued and I had only two models to choose from that were still American made by Guild at the time. Each of those had lots of inlay and were beautiful, but not nearly as much as my plainly appointed Guild, and to add insult to injury, my best cash price for the replacement was going to be $2400…a lot more than the $800 I paid for the original!  But, I had no other 12 string at the time except for a Martin D-28-12 that needed a neck reset and wouldn’t be able to be tuned to pitch…so, I had my local guitar shop order me both models and planned to choose one when they came in.  In the meantime, I got the call mine were recovered.  However, like I said, we were far away and just about to play for this benefit and the policeman was saying on the phone that if I didn’t get down there and identify them in the next 15 minutes, they would both become evidence in the case and I wouldn’t get them back until he went to trial, which could be over 6 months!!! I knew that wasn’t going to happen, so I asked if my agent could come and ID them and they said yes, but it had to be quick!  So, I called my wife, who also happens to be my agent, and she booked it on over and got them!  The police told her that I must have some kind of good luck because this recovery thing almost NEVER happens!  The manager, upon seeing the Hofner bass and not thinking that it was a good match of an instrument for the young man offering it up, said he checked my flyer, realized it was mine and came back to the counter…he told the guy to give him a few minutes to look up this bass so he knew what to offer him for it and then, almost as an afterthought, told the guy that since he wanted cash it was company policy to have an ID…they thief then handed him his driver’s license with all of his information and he went to his office and called the police!   So, I got them both back and even though I was careful before, I am really careful now.  I offered the Guitar Center manager, who was the one who recognized my instruments and cleverly detained the guy until the police came, a reward, but he said he couldn’t take it and that they would donate it to charity…Anyway, that’s my story with a happy ending about theft… Thanks, Edward

Me with Guitar Center manager and Hero, Matt Bower

Comment by Michael S. Jackson on November 21, 2011 at 2:27pm

Personnally, I like the "1s." I played all three models in the OM line and really liked the higher end model and it's not just a case of how my daughter used to go straight to the higher priced clothes on the rack! I really believed it had the best tone and I love the wood binding.

I'll buy one someday, but at $3,000 today won't be that day.

Comment by Jud Hair on November 21, 2011 at 2:08pm

@ Michael ... That's a pretty good price.  The "Performing Artist" series is one of the hottest things going at Martin right now.  Not only is Martin pushing them aggressively, but they are pricing them very attractively for what you get.  I paid $1,080 including tax for my brand new DCPA4.  GC had a used one recently for only $795, but it had a really funky looking top, that I think probably put some buyers off even though it played fine.  There were absolutely no used ones available when I bought mine because the line was so new.  Getting a 2011 model for $850 would have been real tempting, but I like the security of my Martin warranty.

Comment by Alan Land on November 21, 2011 at 1:54pm

I have all those numbers recorded today. Sadly, I lost my "love" in 1985. It was a D-28S that I bought new in 1969 and played exclusively until that time. I stayed drunk for about three days.

Comment by Michael S. Jackson on November 21, 2011 at 1:52pm

Saw this at Elderly today:

MARTIN OMCPA4 (2011)  
 EC+, Performing Artist Series, 000 size body, solid Sitka spruce top with hybrid scalloped bracing and soft cutaway, black binding, 2-ring multi-layered black/white rosette, tortoise pickguard, Sapele back and sides, 14-fret mahogany neck with Performing Artist profile, 1-3/4" nut, black Richlite fretboard (25.4" scale), offset white position dots, black Richlite bridge with Tusq saddle, chrome enclosed Martin tuners, Fishman F1 pickup system with chromatic tuner, with flat-lid OHSC (green lining) (SN:1473806)   
10U-5932.....$850.00     [Martin Guitars]

Comment by Michael S. Jackson on November 21, 2011 at 1:46pm

Gull - Good advice. To go along with that, I also photograph my stuff with particular attention to identifying features and marks (and a close up of the model and serial numbers). Keep these in two separate locations - one at home and, in case of fire or other disaster, one away from home.

It's good to hear about someone getting their guitar back. Edward Sparks got a couple of his back - it's extremely rare.

Ths - m

Comment by FloridaGull on November 21, 2011 at 11:56am

Always remember/record your serial number!

Comment by Jud Hair on November 21, 2011 at 11:47am

Another strong example of the reason for officially registering your Martin ... not only for warranty purposes, but for positively identifying you as the owner if your guitar is stolen.

Comment by Edward Sparks on November 21, 2011 at 11:29am

Interesting article...


Guitar stolen in 2005 turns up on eBay

Someone stole the six-stringed love of Eric Malmberg's life in 2005. But then it turned up on eBay.

You never forget a great love, and Eric Malmberg never forgot his. He spent about six years tracking down his Fender Telecaster after the guitar was stolen from a practice room.

Photo: Richard Tsong-Taatarii, Star Tribune

One of the last times he saw his guitar, Eric Malmberg was telling a friend this was the one. "This is the guitar I will play for the rest of my life,"' he said.

Two days later, it was gone.

It was June 5, 2005. Someone had slipped into a band rehearsal space at 2921 2nd St. N., a warehouse where bands and musicians hang out, and walked off with Malmberg's guitar, a top-of-the-line American Deluxe Telecaster made by the Fender Musical Instruments Corp.

The Fender guitar is a classic in American rock bands, and Malmberg's guitar is emblematic of the type, with a yellow body that fades to deep orange and then black, what's known as a "sunburst" pattern. Malmberg made one change: he replaced the original off-white pickguard, a plastic shield that rests beneath the guitar strings, with a black one.

"I bought it at Willie's American Guitars in St. Paul. I was looking for that particular type," Malmberg recalled. "I played it for a good couple of hours in the store before I decided to buy it."

He played the Fender as the lead guitar for the rock band Attention, which has toured internationally and released several albums, including last year's "Through the Wire."

Then it was stolen and Malmberg, now 33, settled into the routines of a determined man. He made fliers and put them up in music shops. He searched online. When he was on eBay looking for something to buy, he'd take a minute and enter "American Deluxe Telecaster," just to see what would come up.

And then, finally, something did.

On Nov. 5, he spotted his guitar on eBay. It had the sunburst pattern, the black pickguard and, most importantly, the serial number matched.

"It just makes me sound like Rainman, but I could remember the serial number," he said. "It's like 10 digits. I had searched for it so many times it had stuck in my brain."

The seller said he lived in Minneapolis.

Using Facebook, Malmberg asked if anyone knew a Minneapolis police officer. Soon he was talking to Minneapolis officer Jessie Garcia, who knew some of the staff at KQRS-FM, where Malmberg works a weekend DJ gig as "Dead Eric."

If Malmberg hadn't known the serial number, Garcia said, chances are he wouldn't have been able to retrieve his guitar, worth an estimated $2,000. It would have been his word against the guitar's eBay seller.

Using his personal eBay handle, Garcia contacted the seller and offered him nearly the full asking price for the guitar if the seller would meet him at a downtown bank last Wednesday.

He did, and surrendered the guitar, which was returned to Malmberg within an hour.

No charges will be filed against the seller, who said he bought it from a guitar shop in Blaine several years ago. That shop has since gone out of business. "He, in a sense, was a victim himself," Garcia said.

Malmberg says the guitar has two new nicks, but otherwise is the same classic instrument he remembered.

He said he's already played it for hours.

Matt McKinney • 612-217-1747

Comment by Edward Sparks on November 19, 2011 at 7:53pm

Hey Stephen, this idea was yours...I just added the visual!  I am a musician not an ad man, but I sure love making ads for guitars! 

Here's the one I did for Gibson using my own guitars! 


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