Need Find Know

A Craigslist note to the people that stole Maurice’s Les Paul

An angry, heartfelt, sad note from Maurice, whose gear was stolen from his studio in the Vancouver area…

To the people who stole most of my stuff out of my studio on June 5, including my main guitar of 43 years, let me tell you about it.

It’s a very altered, but very real 1953 Gibson Les Paul Model – Serial # 3 0621 (stamped on the back of the headstock)…

I’ve made many other changes to this guitar in favour of playability…

He lists 8 ways he’s modified the guitar and goes on…

This is a one-of-a-kind instrument in so many ways. It is completely recognizable, down to every screw on it.

I’ve been in the music business all my life, and have a large list of friends and contacts.…  [Information about your theft has] been passed around since you broke in, and is continually going out to more people.…

My green Les Paul is already one of the most recognizable instruments in Canada, I can guarantee you that.

Here’s your scenario:

  • No collector will want this instrument because it’s not even close to original.
  • No legitimate business will buy it from you.
  • Any creep who would knowingly buy a stolen guitar will give you a pittance for it.
  • If you keep it for yourself, you’ll never be able to play anywhere with it, and it will tie you to the crime and to all of the other stolen equipment for as long as you have it.…

It’s not of much value to you, but to me, I can’t buy another Les Paul like it because another one doesn’t exist.…

And here’s the comment that sets this plea apart…

You haven’t ripped off a money making business. You’ve ripped off my life and my spirit immeasurably by taking away the tools of the pursuit of my passion. I’ve worked extremely hard for my whole life to earn my right to do so, and you took it all away in an hour or two.…

Just give it back – NO QUESTIONS ASKED. PLEASE.


(via MetaFilter. And here’s more about the guitar.)

I feel for this guy and his note did a good job of showing the potential that an inanimate object has to be emotionally valuable. But at the same time, I don’t think I own anything like that.

What about you? Do you have anything that you’re this connected to?

Read more:



9 responses to “A Craigslist note to the people that stole Maurice’s Les Paul”

  1. Dee Dee says:

    My daughter is a classical guitarist. She calls her guitars her babies and they all have names. They have personalities, also. Her guitar, Charlie, is constantly out of tune and gives her headaches. Her favorite guitar, Liberty-Anne, is an extension of her soul. They are completely in tune with each other. 18 months ago she was separated from Liberty-Anne and didn’t even know if she would see her again. It was so incredibly painful for my daughter and she mourned her guitar as I would mourn the loss of a child. When she was finally reunited with Liberty-Anne 6 months ago, it was an event. So much joy! We also name our vehicles and speak of them as if they are people. We end up treating them more gently and with more respect. 🙂

  2. JC says:

    Our house was robbed and ransacked a couple of weeks ago and I feel so bad for this guy! I had an autographed guitar stolen and gifts from my late husband that are irreplaceable. The sense of anger and violation I have felt are unlike anything I have ever experienced. I am tremendously thankful my family was out of the house and we are all safe but still…what gives anyone the right to take something that doesn’t belong to them!?!?! Thieves SUCK!!!

  3. ADHowl says:

    Music is received & interpreted in the very core of the human brain stem. It expresses emotions that cannot be expressed in any other way. For this reason, the relationship between a musician and his/her instrument is unique in the human experience. I thank all the stars that I learned to play piano from the age of eight and can now share my passion through teaching. My piano is the most beautiful object in my life.

  4. Jaundicedi says:

    The closest analogy I can give to the way a musician feels about their favorite instrument is the way someone feels about a beloved pet or a classic restored car. That 53 Les Paul was only the second year the Les Paul was made. Imagine if someone took your lovingly restored ’56 T-Bird. I have a ’74 Gibson L6-s that I have made some modifications to that is a friend and partner in music…and I am not a pro. I would be crushed if someone stole it.

  5. Jem says:

    Thieves are just that…thieves. They’ll never be anything or anyone that bears any importance. They’ll never know the feeling of what it is to have worked hard for something and truly appreciate it. They’ll never truly love because they have no self worth and they’ll have to always steal for anything they ever want because to be capable of thievery means you are probably not capable of much else. I pitty the thief, I hope for this man and the return of his beloved guitar.

  6. Drew says:

    Nobody tell Robin Hood.

  7. Joey says:

    You could rob me clean and I really wouldn’t care. Just leave either my backup hard drive or my laptop with all of their photos. Hopefully I’ll have all of that backed up in the cloud one of these days and that won’t matter either. Sure, there are a few picture frames I’d like and a box of notes between my wife and me, things I’d hate to lose but nothing that would have “ripped off my life and my spirit immeasurably.”

  8. Jesi says:

    I do not play an instrument because I’m a singer, but I know I would feel quite the same way if someone were to destroy or take away my photos of my friends and family. As a photographer and a deeply sentimental person, photographs are by far the most valuable material possessions I own. I can replace computers, movies–my camera. I cannot replace those photographs or relive the memories they captured. Even as a young child, when I thought about what items I would try to save in the event of a fire or natural disaster, I immediately thought of my photo albums.