CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WJZY) – Music for “Them Rockabilly” doesn’t pay the bills, but it soothes the soul.
For the past three and a half years, the group has traveled to bars around the Carolinas on weekends.
A week ago, they performed in Charlotte.
“It was a good night,” said band member Bernie Fox. “Had a great time. A lot of people came out and stayed until the end of the night.”
After grabbing a late-night snack, the group finally crashed at their hotel, the Comfort Suites in north Charlotte. They returned to their truck and trailer five hours later to see smashed windows.
“My guitar player goes, ‘Hey, you left your window open,'” Fox recalled. “It was raining that night before, and I was like, ‘The window is open. I didn’t leave my window open.'”
Guitarist Tommy’s customized blue Gretsch Electromatic guitar was gone.
“We realized they had tried to pry open our trailer several times and did quite a bit of damage to the door, but they couldn’t get in,” Fox said. “So, I suspect because they couldn’t get in the trailer, they just last ditched effort to see what was in the truck, and lucky for them, we had forgot his guitar in the back seat.”
The truck’s windows were tinted, and the guitar was in a case tucked underneath the seat. While the entire equipment trailer was safe, Tommy’s guitar he had poured $3,000 into, was gone.
Multiple layers of frustration followed: the personal violation, the monetary setback, and the irony of the conversation they had just had as a group.
“We were actually just starting to talk about getting instrument insurance on all of our equipment,” Fox said, “and that conversation didn’t happen quite fast enough.”
The band says they reported the guitar’s serial number in case it shows up for sale online.
Ironically, a Charlotte music store was selling a different guitar almost identical to the one stolen. Fox struck a deal with the store to get a replacement guitar at a discount.