REM are the latest victims of instrument theft

The rock'n'roll cat burglars strike again. This time, Peter Buck's guitar has gone walkies. Send for Interpol! (the police that is, not the band)

Enough is enough! REM became the latest in a spate of high-profile instrument robberies when Peter Buck's beloved guitar was stolen at a Finnish gig on Tuesday. Clearly, it's time for the world to organise a sort of musical Interpol (Minterpol?), with crime-solving super-soldiers who will hunt down the instrument thieves.

REM have reluctantly joined a club including Iron Maiden, who had a Jackson stratocaster stolen in Greece, and Iggy and the Stooges, who lost an entire lorry of equipment after a Canadian gig in July. Neither group has regained the items.

While Finland is supposed to be a country of polite, law-abiding citizens, there was at least one snake in the Helsinki grass after REM played at Finnair Stadium on September 9. Not long after Peter Buck left the stage, his Rickenbacker 360 guitar disappeared.

"Needless to say, this instrument means a great deal to Peter and to REM," the band said in a statement. The guitar made its debut on REM's 1982's single Chronic Town, and Buck was still playing it on this year's Accelerate. Now the band are simply hoping to get it back.

"It is our sincere hope that whoever is responsible for the loss, or whoever has information which can help recover the guitar, will come forward to receive a generous reward, no questions asked," they said.

At least one English fan has gone a step further, declaring on an REM message-board that he will pay £500 for any information leading to the missing guitar. "I know it is not much, but all I can afford!" bellowed a 24-year-old user called richardscott1983.

Somebody hire this kid for Minterpol.


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

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