How Not to Have Your Tour Van Robbed, or How Psych Rocker Imaad Wasif Lost It All
Life on the road is tough, but highway robbers make it even tougher for touring bands. Unfortunately, L.A.'s psychedelic guitar sage Imaad Wasif found out the hard way this week when his van was besieged by land pirates or some gear-hungry bastards.
Here's the official story:
Imaad's van was parked at the at the Holiday Inn Downtown San Antonio Market Square: 318 West Durango Boulevard, San Antonio, TX 78204 after a performance at The White Rabbit. A full list of missing gear is below.
1978 Fender P-Bass, Antigua finish, (Pea Soup Green with a black pick guard and black bridge) Serial # 5910060.
All Drum Hardware
1 Mac Pro G5 Tower
1 Boss Hyper-Fuzz Effects Pedal
1 Matrix Chromatic Tuner Pedal
1 Merch box of 50 Voidist CDs and 10 vinyl
1 GPS device
If you have any details to help out Wasif, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Listen musicians, don't get robbed. Serious. It's terrible. Remember when Sonic Youth got robbed? The. Worst. Or when The Dears had their van stolen in Montreal? Sucksville, for sure. Bands, West Coast Sound cares about you. We really do. So after the jump, as a public service announcement, we have the interesting Lance Bangs documentary on bands (The Gossip, The Decemberists, Modest Mouse) that got robbed, and some tips to avoid getting your gear stolen.
Some tips from the video:
-At night, park your van really close to the car behind it. That way the back doors cannot open unless you move the car.
-Get a magnet that advertises a business, like a catering company or something, and slap it on the side of the van as urban camouflage.
-Do not put stickers of your band on the van.
-Make an inventory list of all instruments and pedals, and write down all the serial numbers too.
-Do not leave $8,000 in cash from shows under your seat. (Modest Mouse, we're looking at you)
*Here are some more tips from Alex Burton at Get Fresh USA
1) Disguise Your Trailer - I looked high and low for a photo of that Brandtson trailer, but I can't find one. I think the idea is clear though: every thief wants to steal a trailer full of valuable equipment and money, but they don't care as much about trailers full of bug poison and fumigation tents.
2) Tire Lock - You think these things are just for cops? Think again. You can buy wheel lock online for relatively cheap. [They] for under $200, which is a small investment for protecting your livelihood. If you want to get really crazy, you can buy a super heavy duty one with spikes for around $400. Either way, affix that baby to your wheel and your van's not going anywhere. You can find smaller ones for trailer tires as well. Buy one here: Tirelock.com or here: TrailerLock.com
3) Hidden Shackle Padlocks - That thing you had keeping your locker closed in high school isn't going to keep thieves out of anything. They can snap those off with heavy duty cable cutters like it ain't no thang. These hidden shackle padlocks keep the shackle, well, hidden, and inaccessible. Additionally, once the locks are on, they can't be moved, making it tough for anyone to manipulate them. Buy them here: Padlocks
4) Hitch Locks - I'll keep this brief. If you don't have one you're a moron, because I really hitch lockshouldn't have to mention these things. However, I do remember being on tour and a band we were out with caught a guy just jacking up their trailer and unhitching it. Keep your trailer attached to your van! Buy one here: Hitch Locks
5) Lojack - This one is a little crazy, but if you've got the cash, pony up for it. Lojack is Lojacka vehicle retriever system with a 90% success rate. Have Lojack installed and when you report your vehicle stolen, the Lojack system activates emitting a silent alert that police track right to your van. Most vehicles are recovered in a matter of hours. Pretty sweeeeet. Buy it here: Lojack
6) Sleep in the 'Burbs - Staying in a city or urban area is asking for trouble. There's always a kid at the show with rich parents that's willing to put you up, so find that guy and stay with him. Or grab a hotel out in the suburbs. If you absolutely MUST stay in the city, have two people sleep in the van in case some one tries to get in.
7) Keep Track of Your Valuables - Bring your laptops, iPods, and merch money inside with you at the end of the night. Make sure anything that you don't bring in is hidden and out of sight. If you have a detachable face for your stereo, detach it. That's what it's for. You don't want to be kicking yourself in the morning because you didn't feel like making that extra trip down to the van.