Thirty five years ago, bassist Pete Sears’ prized custom bass guitar was stolen during the melee of a cancelled music festival in Germany.
After decades of mourning its loss, the former Jefferson Starship member will soon be reunited with the one-of-a-kind instrument, according to the Marin Journal.
Sears had barely had the chance to play the new Doug Irwin bass, nicknamed “Dragon” for it’s uniquely-shaped inlay, before looters made off with it during a riot at the 1978 festival, says the Huffington Post.
The British-born musician was devastated, but recounted last week on Facebook how he finally got it back, after all these years:
“Four years ago a Doug Irwin Tribute site went up that included a photo of my bass along with a story about how it was stolen and a promise to pay a $2,500 reward for its return.”
“Then, right out of the blue a couple of weeks ago Tom was contacted by Klaus in Germany saying he had the bass, and even though he felt it belonged to him (he’d bought it from another musician back in 1991) he could never feel right playing it knowing it was a stolen instrument. However, he wanted 2,500 Euros, not dollars, and wouldn’t budge…I wanted that bass back so I didn’t haggle. I paid $2,000 back in 1978 which was a lot of money for the instrument back then. You couldn’t build it today for $12,000.”