Rare guitar bearing signatures of Paul McCartney and other rock legends stolen in West Vancouver smash-and-grab
By Brent Richter, North Shore News
December 13, 2014
NORTH SHORE — It’s an instrument that’s been held by the living gods of rock ‘n’ roll. And now, apparently a lowdown, dirty smash-and-grab thief.
West Vancouver police are looking for a suspect after someone broke into an Ambleside store last Thursday and made off with a framed Peavey electric guitar bearing the signatures of Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Ron Wood, Rod Stewart, Jeff Beck, Joe Cocker, Brian Johnson, John Densmore, Tom Petty, Lars Ulrich, Vince Neil and Duff McKagan.
“It was so cool. It was in a case. It was beautifully mounted. It was this hot red electric guitar signed by all of them,” said Vivian Bromley, owner of Uniquely Yours, a high-end memorabilia, art and framing shop on the 1400-block of Bellevue Avenue in West Vancouver.
“The thing is, we had a lot of interest it,” she added with a laugh. “To have it go out the door that way wasn’t exactly in my plan.”
Based on what she saw in the surveillance video, the thief tried to pry the front door open with a crowbar around 6 a.m. Dec. 4. When that didn’t work, he smashed his way in and carried out the theft.
Surveillance camera catches a suspect appearing to steal a guitar graced with the signatures of music legends including Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck from a store in West Vancouver. Friday, Dec. 13, 2014. (CTV)
Bromley said she expects the suspect was either someone hired explicitly to steal that piece, or someone who doesn’t know what he’s doing. The thief was apparently less interested in the page of mathematical calculations signed by Albert Einstein, which was valued at $23,500.
“He didn’t take the more expensive piece. He had to pass it to get to the guitar,” she said.
Also passed over in the theft: documents signed by Abraham Lincoln just six weeks before his assassination, an Everlast boxing robe signed by Muhammed Ali, Frank Sinatra’s toupee, a letter from Winston Churchill and a document signed by Gandhi.
But the thief did take a handful of semi-precious stones set in silver worth “a couple hundred bucks,” Bromley said.
In any case, it will be hard to fence the guitar on the black market, Bromley said.
“Oh my goodness, is anybody that silly? This is a one-of-a-kind, very unique, very special thing. I can’t imagine anyone being so stupid,” she said. “I can’t even see how someone could sell it or dispose of it.”
Anyone with information about the guitar is asked to contact West Vanouver police at 604-925-7300 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
The extremely rare guitar signed by Eric Clapton, Tom Petty, Jeff Beck as well as members of the Beatles, Rolling Stones, AC/DC, The Doors, Metallica, Guns n Roses and Motley Crue.
Photograph by: Photo supplied , North Shore News