Craig Chaquico's quest to get his stolen '59 Gibson Sunburst Les Paul guitar back

eric ernest

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geddy402

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Really interesting story. I'll be curious to see how the case turns out. Like it says at the end of the article, it could set a precedent for all musicians who's instruments are stolen and resurface many years later.
 

chasenblues

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This has been going on behind the scenes for a couple of years....I actually forgot about it. The guy from Vermont? He's a friend and a member on the other forum.

So what's your .02c on his rebuttal of some of the facts in the article on the other forum?
 

Dools

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This is why YOU DON'T Take your Vintage 59's on Tour with you. I really hope this turns out well for both parties. The guy who's owns it didn't realize it was stolen
 

Kris Ford

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How I read all of this..
CC was legal owner.
His property was deemed "destroyed" by riot? Like, here is a pile of charred remnants of gear..did he assume that the LP was in the ashes?
If so, was it still his property if he stopped searching for it?
At what point did it not become CC's property any more?
Why would he search for something he deemed destroyed by fire? Or was the thought of theft there too? Seems the theft idea may have only been after the thought that someone physically had it, which makes sense.

Guitar resurfaces, someone buys it, and it was deemed to have not been lost in fire and was rightfully owned by CC before the riot/fire..

:hmm::hmm:
 

Actinic

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I have a simple solution for both parties. The investor should allow Chaquico to steal the guitar. Then, the investor can claim the insurance payout. Craig can hide the guitar for 10 years or whatever the statute of limitations is in California. Even if the police raid his home, he can plead not guilty and say he was the original owner, and not a thief.
 

Left Paw

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Yeah, the current owner's side of the story is rather compelling. For me, it helps make the case for putting your big dollars into something besides collectible 'objects' be they musical instruments, artwork, cars, or any other historical item where provenance is so vital. If you don't have that all-important chain of custody back to origin decree, you could be **** out of luck at any time. Based on the info provided, the current owner (he gives his name in his response on the other site) bought the guitar from a well-established dealer. One that most would have reasonably trusted in vetting the background of the guitar. Somehow things got crossed up.

My guess is that this will end with CC getting his guitar back, and the current owner will get some compensation, perhaps another burst. But what about how he has bonded with the guitar over his ten years of ownership? How to compensate for that? This is one of those situations where there is no happy ending for everyone. It is fair for CC to get his guitar back, but the current owner has a lot of skin in the game as well.
 

charlie chitlins

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Ahhhhh....the days when big rock stars ponied up $4k for holy grail instruments....
 

sws1

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Seems like if the insurance company paid the band for lost equipment, any equipment that is "found" later would belong to the insurance company, not the guy who was compensated.

However, do we know the band was compensated for what happened at the riot? Is it possible the insurance company didn't pay it because of the actions of the band? In that case, it would still be CC's property.

Lastly, if a court does decide it belongs to CC, then I would think current owner would have a claim against the party from which he bought it. If that was a dealer/business, he might have a better chance of getting his money back than if it was bought by an individual party that is long gone.

All conjecture and food for the machine.
 

fleahead

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This is why YOU DON'T Take your Vintage 59's on Tour with you. I really hope this turns out well for both parties. The guy who's owns it didn't realize it was stolen
In 1978 it wasn't considered some holy grail. It was a 20 year old guitar.
 

Caretaker

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This is why YOU DON'T Take your Vintage 59's on Tour with you. I really hope this turns out well for both parties. The guy who's owns it didn't realize it was stolen
As farv as taking it on tour, it`s a tool. Like a knife, wrench, etc. If it`s what you use to perform your job it`s just that. Whether it`s a $200K guitar or one fresh from the plant.
It was meant to be played. If you are going to put it under glass and pray to it every night, why own it. Let a musician play it, like Craig was doing.
Page takes his on tour, as does/did Knopfler , Gary Moore and many others.
 

eric ernest

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So what's your .02c on his rebuttal of some of the facts in the article on the other forum?
I distinctly remember this story when it broke in 1978.

I believe I first read about it in "Musician Magazine" which had a short factoid about the incident at the front.

It was noted that the promoter of the show had falsely advertised that the Atlanta Rhythm Section was on the bill and the crowd found out shortly before the show that they never were slated to do the show. It was also reported that Grace Slick fell ill right before the performance. (This is what was reported in 1978.)

That article never said the instruments were destroyed. It said they were stolen and the "PA" was burned to the ground.

Also, the Guitar Player magazine (Circa 1980? which I cannot put my hands on right now.) that had Craig Chaquico playing a purple BC Rich on the cover went into some detail about the incident.

One of these magazines LISTED ALL OF THE THE SERIAL NUMBERS of the stolen instruments.

The dealer who sold the guitar (initially) back in the day should have been on top of this.


Seems like if the insurance company paid the band for lost equipment, any equipment that is "found" later would belong to the insurance company, not the guy who was compensated.
Given what was publicly stated in 1978, I would think the promoter got sued as per the false billing of ARS....must be some liability there. I'm also willing to bet it was a long drawn out process...that may not have ever been resolved. Quite complicated i would think.
 

welland

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4 grand was a lot of money in 1978.

I remember seeing a 1958 Goldtop with Bigsby going for 3100 dollars in 1981 and that certainly was very expensive and unattainable for most people back then, including myself.
 

SUNBURSTING

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I distinctly remember this story when it broke in 1978.

I believe I first read about it in "Musician Magazine" which had a short factoid about the incident at the front.

It was noted that the promoter of the show had falsely advertised that the Atlanta Rhythm Section was on the bill and the crowd found out shortly before the show that they never were slated to do the show. It was also reported that Grace Slick fell ill right before the performance. (This is what was reported in 1978.)

That article never said the instruments were destroyed. It said they were stolen and the "PA" was burned to the ground.

Also, the Guitar Player magazine (Circa 1980? which I cannot put my hands on right now.) that had Craig Chaquico playing a purple BC Rich on the cover went into some detail about the incident.

One of these magazines LISTED ALL OF THE THE SERIAL NUMBERS of the stolen instruments.

The dealer who sold the guitar (initially) back in the day should have been on top of this.




Given what was publicly stated in 1978, I would think the promoter got sued as per the false billing of ARS....must be some liability there. I'm also willing to bet it was a long drawn out process...that may not have ever been resolved. Quite complicated i would think.

This is a photo I clipped years ago that is a pretty good shot of the guitar.

This one? I'll have a look.
 

SUNBURSTING

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I just looked at the January 1982 guitar player above regarding the Chaquico interview. GC player states Quote........... "In May the band began a tour of the U.S. and Europe. On June 17th a riot broke out at Germany's Lorelei Festival when it was announced that Grace Slick was unable to perform.In a 16-hour spree,rioters destroyed over $150,000 worth of equipment and stole eighteen guitars and four basses.............2 days later Grace quit the Starship" When asked what are your favorites "pieces" [Guitars]Chaquico states in the interview itself "Quote" My 57 goldtop Gibson Les Paul which I got from "Dan Torres Guitars" in Saratoga,California That guitar is sweet I love it. I lost a 59 sunburst and two 57s in that riot in Germany. When GC asked Were any of those stolen instruments recovered? Chaquico replied " not yet. I also lost a 57 Fender Strat and a 63 Firebird. Try getting insurance to pay for that stuff too"
 

WholeLottaIzzy

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It's a 59 burst with an average lemon burst top. He probably wants it back so Gibson can CC it.
 

lbiz

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My guess is that this will end with CC getting his guitar back, and the current owner will get some compensation, perhaps another burst. But what about how he has bonded with the guitar over his ten years of ownership? How to compensate for that? This is one of those situations where there is no happy ending for everyone. It is fair for CC to get his guitar back, but the current owner has a lot of skin in the game as well.
The collector bought a stolen guitar, and if he'd vetted it properly, should have known (and maybe did know). The owner is CC or his insurance company if they paid out. Any losses suffered by the collector are his to pursue against the seller to him. Making it so difficult for the rightful owners to get their property back is what promotes the market for stolen antiquities including guitars of this value.
 

SUNBURSTING

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The collector bought a stolen guitar, and if he'd vetted it properly, should have known (and maybe did know). The owner is CC or his insurance company if they paid out. Any losses suffered by the collector are his to pursue against the seller to him. Making it so difficult for the rightful owners to get their property back is what promotes the market for stolen antiquities including guitars of this value.
Unfortunately VERY true.
 


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